What does it sound like?:
We aren’t yet at the end of January 2017 and here is a very fine guitar rock album to stimulate our ear-holes. That’s right, a very fine guitar rock album.
It begins with two solid gut-punches, Cowboy and It’s How I Feel (Free); screaming vocals, squealing guitar, oil drum floor toms, bass strings as thick as rope. These songs are tight and vigorous. The guitar solos are succinct and to-the-point. Daniel Leopold, the songwriter, singer and guitarist spent his childhood in Detroit and has garage rock in his bones. However, this isn’t just meat and potatoes. There are subtleties, pauses and spaces, allowing the music to breathe.
By I’m Caving In, we are into a blues rock. Waves (Golden), with its big chorus, is acutely commercial. Ride brings out the acoustic and the plaintive longing. Saturday is raucous and heavy. My favourite is Better Off Alone, a lovely pleading blues, featuring a Billy Preston style organ. After that, there’s still time for an existential, introspective strum, a horn-driven knees-up and an almost unrecognisable, downright demanding Dylan cover. Ten tracks, forty minutes. Great stuff.
In fact, Leopold And His Fiction began as a folk duo singing story songs over ten years ago, hence the airy-fairy name. These songs are more personal and direct but that craft learnt over all that time has held him in good stead. The variations in style, the insertions of other instruments, such as piano, organ and horns, the backing vocal touches, the sense of dynamism in the pacing of the songs, the flourishes in the song structures themselves, all add to an album that brings pleasure on repeated listens.
Darling Destroyer isn’t just basic garage rock. It has blues, folk, pop and soul. It is a great guitar album.
What does it all *mean*?
You can’t beat a good roast beef dinner, especially when it’s full of flavour and beautifully cooked.
A fine start to 2017 and Japandroids are coming soon!
Goes well with…
Should sound good on the radio or live. Judging by their videos, Daniel is quite the engaging frontman. I’m hoping this will be a hit.
Might suit people who like…
Foo Fighters, Queens Of The New Stone Age, the smoother and less anguished end of Nirvana. Commercial Rock Guitar Music.