Darwin Deez
Darwin Deez


3.5
great

Review

by tombits USER (16 Reviews)
April 4th, 2010 | 77 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Darwin “Deez” Smith is one quirky mammajamma, that’s for sure.

I think there’s been a moment for all of us in which we’ve taken music a little too seriously. For instance, remember when you argued vehemently over whether your favourite band’s new record was overproduced? Or maybe when you endured hours of some obscure experimental, avant-garde album in a last-ditch effort to understand exactly why it’s “almost worth the mounds of hyperbolic claims it receives”? Perhaps you’ve simply became so frustrated with someone’s (read: Channing Freeman’s) ridiculous musical tastes that you spouted uncontrollable amounts of typed, defamatory abuse? Don’t worry; as I said, we’ve all been there. It’s during moments like these in which you need to take a step back from all the pretentious, superfluous bull*** and place music back into perspective - and this is exactly where Mr. Darwin Smith comes in.

Deez is a pretty peculiar dude with an equally unorthodox approach to music. His odd nuances are more or less represented in his choice of instrument: a regular Stratocaster strung with only four strings and played in his very own, secret tuning (I know… what the fuck). Consequently, the jangly '60s sounding chord voicings scattered throughout are irregular and refreshing, bringing a distinct edge of originality to this eponymous debut. Opening with “Constellations”, the song showcases his minimal axe playing style wonderfully with its syncopated rhythms and funky muted string work. The first line – “twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are” – makes it blatantly obvious that lyrics aren’t the high point of Darwin Deez; yet despite their childish leanings, the playful context in which they’re performed allows you to overlook their simplicity and sometimes even appreciate their meaning.

Whilst his guitar – combined with basic drum patterns, some auxiliary percussion and a forgettable bass groove – form the backbone to the majority of the tracks, it’s his vocals that provide the classic infectious charm of which characterizes the album. Possessing a wonderfully carefree voice (not particularly dissimilar to that of Minus the Bear’s Jake Snider) and a knack for writing unusual-yet-catchy melodies, Deez makes light of even the most brutal topics. “The Suicide Song” begins with an outrageously bouncy guitar riff and goes on to describes the thoughts of a man who’s falling to his death whilst his lover watches from below. Similarly confronting is “The Bomb Song”, which details two lovers’ struggle to survive in a post-nuclear explosion: the song opens with an undeniably genius melody and closes with perhaps the most poignant moment of the whole record, in which Deez pleads “Say you love me now, please, say it now the sky is green.”

Darwin Deez’s particular brand of lo-fi, bedroom indie-pop isn’t ground breaking – and that is going to be the deal breaker for most high brow critics – but everything about it is so cute and endearing that it simply doesn’t matter. Take it at face value (“DNA” will be a strong contender for catchiest song of the year) or penetrate through its bright, bubbly façade in search of the hidden meanings that exist within many of these three minute songs; either way, Deez ain’t taking this too seriously, and neither should you.



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user ratings (58)
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3.5
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
tombits
April 4th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Stream: http://www.myspace.com/darwindeez

Because I haven't written in a while, this was really hard to finish. It started as a 3.5, but it came out much more positive. Awesome album with a suprising amount of staying power, check it out.

I didn't mention it in the review, but I've got no doubt this guy will be huge, whether with this release or his next.

AtavanHalen
April 4th 2010


17927 Comments


Radar Detector is one hell of a song. I would love to hear this record.

Jim
April 4th 2010


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sounds very interesting. i'll check out some songs.

Jim
April 4th 2010


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

catchy as fuck. where can i get this?

tombits
April 4th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

It's officially released on the 12th of April in US/UK. You can preorder the album or vinyl at amazon here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Darwin-Deez/dp/B003A05TU8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1268932821&sr=8-1

It has leaked, but it's extremely hard to find and links are taken down super fast.

Jim
April 6th 2010


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it has the potential to wear thin after a few listenings, but this is very fun.

great stuff.

tombits
April 6th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Well as ashamed as I am to say this, I've listened to these songs over 250 times in the last week and they've held up remarkably well. They're just plain fun to listen to.

Jim
April 6th 2010


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the bomb song stands out at the moment. i love how the post-apocalyptic lyrics work with the poppy instrumentation.

it shouldn't work but it does.

tombits
April 6th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, that's a standout for me. "Radar Detector" is insanely catchy, "The City" is interesting in its staggered vocal approach, and "Deep Sea Divers" is probably the closest this album gets to creating an atmosphere.

SeaAnemone
April 11th 2010


20304 Comments


stop using so much profane language in the sumary

Digging: Holy Sons - Lost Decade II

Prophet178
April 11th 2010


6397 Comments


One quirky mammajamma.

SeaAnemone
April 11th 2010


20304 Comments


thats more like it

MentalityOfA
April 11th 2010


1213 Comments


The guy shoulda gone with some form of art for his album cover instead of what I'm guessing to be a picture of him. I couldn't stand seeing that cover again.

MentalityOfA
April 11th 2010


1213 Comments


He looks kinda like Ron Jeremy.

cirq
April 11th 2010


9264 Comments


After that email I got,, fuck deez!

Oceanus
April 11th 2010


877 Comments


This is kinda neat.

tombits
April 11th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i blew my load when i saw this on the front page!

nah cirq, that was the label, deez is still our bro.

also, he looks like:

[img]http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/16_johnc_lgl.jpg[/img]

Waior
April 11th 2010


11451 Comments


mammajamma?

Prophet178
April 11th 2010


6397 Comments


Hahaha thats awesome.

tombits
April 11th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i prefer it



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