THE DARTS: ME.OW

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       If you're the kind of person who likes their music with lots of riff-heavy groove and heartache, then The Darts are for you! Me.Ow is the debut album from the Phoenix & L.A. quintet, featuring a myriad of fuzz, reverb, and screaming Farfisa organ that is as dangerous as it is bewitching. It's available starting November 17th on pink-vinyl LP, CD, and download through Dirty Water Records (London).

     Following the release of EP 1 & 2, Me.Ow displays a focused attempt to further expand upon their songwriting as well as moving towards a slightly more refined and layered scope of music. The opening track "The Cat's Meow," kicks open the doors with what seems like a lost grindhouse classic, reminiscent of Thee Hypnotics meets Nancy Sinatra. This then thunders directly into "Gonna Make You Love," a psychedelic power-house that delves into the territory of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Black Angels.

    On songs like "Get Messy" and "I Made A Wish," you can hear a definite influence of classic garage and The Trashwomen, while songs like "The Generator" and "Strange Days" leap out at you with a more barbed delivery somewhere between MC5 and Bikini Kill. "Caught In The Devil's Game" reminds me of their distinct desert influence, with it's fuzzed-out guitars and bluesy, over-driven vocals. Then shifting the album to a cool swagger with the track "You'll Bring Me Flowers," which seems like a prime candidate to be a Bond theme.

     As a whole Me.Ow is fantastic. There were enough qualities that made the album seem instantly familiar, but enough new ingredients that I keep finding new hidden nuances every time I listen. If that isn't enough of an endorsement for you and need more reasons to snag this, there is also an extremely fitting rendition of "Batteries" on it, courtesy of the Third Man Records Recording Booth in Nashville, TN.

LISTEN HERE

CHRIS KENNEALLY