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Darker My Love gives away a pair of MP3s, announces West Coast tour with Band of Horses

July 26, 2010 |  4:06 pm

UK_June_04 There's only so light you can get when your name is Darker My Love, but judging from the first two tracks leaked from the  forthcoming "Alive as You Are," the venerable L.A. pysch-rockers have swapped their nocturnal habits for the joys of the summer sun.

Though the band's press kit notes that the record was informed by "profound personal tragedy," the early records evidence little hint of the pulverizing distortion and drone-heavy jams that characterized their first two Dangerbird LPs. As Scott McDonald of Surfing on Steam noted, there's a salient resemblance to Big Star and the Byrds. You can even detect faint shades of "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn"-era Pink Floyd on "Dear Author," which channels England in the mid-'60s: the UFO nightclub, acid trips and light shows with technicolor strobes.  

Of course, an Anglophile influence is nothing new for the quintet, with several members of the group joining Mark E. Smith and the Fall for much of 2006 and 2007. Yet the newest cuts radiate a glow that ignores production tricks and focuses on the strong songwriting. Neither song deviates starkly from the mold of their influences, yet their dulcet melodies demonstrate why Darker My Love remains one of L.A.'s most accomplished post-Paisley Underground psych-rock groups. Indeed, fans of the Dream Syndicate and the Rain Parade will surely find something to like.

At least, Band of Horses did -- with the popular Seattle band asking Darker My Love to support it on a West Coast swing in September, including a Sept. 25 stop at the Greek Theatre. In the interim, Darker My Love will headline an Aug. 17 album release party at the Bootleg Theater. Don't drink the punch -- unless, of course, you want to drink the punch.

-- Jeff Weiss

MP3: Darker My Love -- "Dear Author" (left click)

MP3: Darker My Love -- "Split Minute" (left click)

Photo: Darker My Love; Credit: Will Canzoneri

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