BEST NEW TRACKS: DARWIN DEEZ - GETAWAY
Darwin Deez return to form with the infectious electro guitar funk of "Getaway"! Let the faithful rejoice!
Darwin Deez have always been a divisive act - the definition of a "love them" or "hate them" indie band. Some have compared them to a "lo-fi Strokes" or a "hipster cousin to Napoleon Dynamite." People put forward their self-titled debut would save indie rock, but the tide turned with 2015's Songs For Imaginative People. Much of the criticism revolves around Darwin Deez's idiosyncratic appearance, their somewhat limited sonic pallet, and a tendency for uneven albums.
The consensus has been, so far, Darwin Deez are a great singles band but have yet to deliver their definitive album statement. "Getaways" serves as a gateway drug, as the latest catchy, compelling single from their excellent new full-length 10 Songs That Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart.
DARWIN DEEZ - GETAWAY
"Getaway" gets away from the slightly sappy, romantic tone of much of 10 Songs That Happened in favor of twitchy, funky guitars and a robotic 8-bit breakbeat. Deez's capering lyrics are reinforced with subtle sound effects - the sound of squealing tires and police scanners - that wouldn't sound out of place on an early Wu-Tang record.
These little flourishes are a reminder of Darwin Deez's greatness. They make you lean in and listen, at which point you might realize these guitars shred and the beats bang. "Getaway" is also not as escapist as it might seem at first bang. Darwin Deez uses a bank heist as a metaphor for stealing someone's heart. Not every emotional ballad has to be slow and ponderous.
Critics say "like a mid-2000s pop-punk band, but more mellow" as if that were a bad thing. Darwin Deez's intricacy and complicated arrangements, blended with slightly reedy vocals and literary lyrics, bring to mind the hyper-freneticism of bands like The Dismemberment Plan or The Blood Brothers. Both of those bands could've been much better, minus the histrionics. Darwin Deez also feature a bit of Father John Misty's slice-of-life diatribe, full of freewheeling casts of characters. Hopefully, the pump has been primed for a more sympathetic listening of Darwin Deez's idiosyncratic indie pop!
We Are: The Guard surely hope so. These arrangements and thoughtful lyrics don't lie. He's one to keep an eye on. We sincerely hope this is a sign that perhaps emo, 2000s indie guitar rock, and artful electronics are coming together. Here's to a new golden age of guitar-centric indie rock!
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.