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The Darcys

The Darcys - Warring

Arts and Crafts - 2013

Michael Panontin
After a wave of misfortune - like getting robbed of their equipment and then losing their lead singer just as they were about to record their second LP - the Darcys seem to finally have it all together, rifling off their third long-player in as many years since joining the hipsters over at Arts and Crafts. After a couple of fine efforts starting with 2011's self-titled shoegazer set and then topping that the following year with a dystopian revisioning of Steely Dan's Aja, the Toronto quartet appear to have taken a turn down more adventurous avenues on this third installment for the label.

Drummer Wes Marksell, who wrote the lyrics for nearly the entire record, told Exclaim that "the title Warring pops up pretty early...it's an internal band metaphor for persevering and getting over losing members and finally getting to make the record that we wanted to make." That record is one where the group's usual high intensity art rock - all those grinding guitars, syncopated drumming and precious falsetto singing - comes more fully realized than on previous records. The band's crisp songwriting and new producer Tom McFall (Stars, Bloc Party) are a nice fit, especially so on grimmer songs like 'The River', with its treated rhythms and crafty guitar, or the moody 'Itchy Blood' and its clever use of synthesizers. For what is essentially a pop record, Marksell admits that Warring "gets pretty dark at times." Even more interesting is the video to the single 'Muzzle Blast', which juxtaposes Jason Couse's desperate vocals with some pretty cool shots of the recently bankrupt Motor City. Sweet.


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