The Darien Venture
Indications


4.0
excellent

Review

by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
March 4th, 2013 | 15 replies | 924 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Math pop: the more refined (and slightly nerdier) brother of fellow Glasgow musicians Dananananaykroyd's fight pop. Like a true nerd, it crunches the numbers and works a little harder to kick out the best work possible.

Scotland always has to out "man" the rest of the world, don't they? Drink more, fight more, swear more - you've got to admit that the stereotypical cut of a Scottish man is not in the least bit feminine. For better or worse, that same "manly" Scottish approach seems to have been slapped onto the nation's take on pop, as well. Glasgow's Dananananaykroyd brought the world "fight pop" from 2009 through 2011's standout There is a Way before disbanding later that year. But have no fear - the exact same year that Dananananaykroyd decided to disband, "math pop" outfit The Darien Venture emerged from, well, the exact same place.

Alright, so they'd been around a bit longer, having released their Back to the Future EP in 2008, but you get the gist - one "man pop" Glasgow band goes down and the next jumps straight into the ***-kickers and continues scuffing them with ass marks. While the band purport to be a group of guys who grew up listening to Michael Jackson and The Beatles, it's obvious that there's something in that highland water (or whisky) that spices things up a bit. The real sound of Indications strays more from pop than the group's self-applied label would lead you to believe, hanging closer to the aggressive, catchy, and technical sound Dananananaykroyd pioneered, but relying less on aggression and more on technicality. And yes, at times, the sound softens out enough to be a poppish ordeal, but there's not a single track on Indications that sticks to a bubblegum formula. These lads are Scottish, dammit.

So, emergence and relative national importance aside, (need I remind you again, they're Scottish?) what do you need to know about Indications? Well, to start, it's full of nothing but smart, well-composed tracks crammed with tempo, rhythm, and style change-ups, choruses both hypnotic and singalong, lead guitars which groove, flutter, and chime, and very solid rhythms which hold everything together. Honestly, if you can anticipate the slow, post-rock groove that ends "I am the Mediator" from the onset of the tremelo picked and aggressively vocalized start of the track, you should start playing the lottery. The vocals, too, do a good job of changing up their pace through whatever musical arithmetic The Darien Venture employ, ranging from the hurried shouts of opener "Heights" to the harmonized croons of "The Whydah" and hitting the mark throughout.

There is little room for error on Indications and The Darien Venture put very little error into that space. While something could be said about smoothing transitions from one track to another, it just isn't enough of an issue to hold down an EP this strong. And while comparisons to Dananananaykroyd are easily drawn and warranted, The Darien Venture do enough tinkering with the Scottish take on pop enough to truly call it their own and lay claim to the boots they've stepped into. Indications, when you break it down, is just a great example of schizo pop rock and an extraordinary indicator of what's to come from these Scots. And given just how much emotion and energy the group put into their craft here, it's hard to think that their next release will be anything less than premium.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Stream/download at thedarienventure.com

Reviewed this as a precursor to their full-length which I'll be listening to/reviewing this week.

These guys are awesome.

Digging: Rx Bandits - Gemini, Her Majesty

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"It's kind of weird to start a new paragraph in this fashion. Using "Alright" followed by a previous paragraphs thought is a little odd."

It's meant to be a bit jarring. I intended that sentence to sort of be like a poignant pause in a conversation with a skeptic broken with an "Alright, so, yeah, maybe I fudged things a little, but..." I can see where you'd feel that way, but it's kind of intended.

"a semi-colon would fit quite well after 'believe'."

It might, but it'd be improper grammar. The statement following the "believe" may be long (mostly because I heaped descriptors on it), but it's not an independent clause.

Thanks for reading and providing feedback, though!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



19437 Comments


good review pos'd.

i do have some feedback though. i think i mentioned this to you in the past but i personally think you start too many sentences with the word 'And'.

i realize it isn't improper english, but i just think you can get more creative then starting sentences with the word and. obviously sometimes is ok but not too much. even your closing sentence starts with and which makes it feel almost like more of an afterthought than a strong closing sentence.

feel free to take or leave this advice as it's just my personal opinion. I like your reviews and your black widow one was awesome (been diggint them hard). I just think your writing would be even better if you didn't start sentences that way so often.




Digging: Musk Ox - Woodfall

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I appreciate the feedback, Atari. I did change a few of them, though I left a few in (including the one in the last sentence) because I felt they conveyed the tone properly. There were a few where I felt I could've done better, but the ones I kept, I felt that a change would've been thesaurusy and false to my tone and style.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



19437 Comments


sure thing man.

everybody has their own preference, it's a great review just something i noticed. thanks for not taking the feedback the wrong way though.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"even your closing sentence starts with and which makes it feel almost like more of an afterthought than a strong closing sentence."

Just to elaborate on this point a little:

The way I wrote the sentence, my intention is for it to feel almost like an afterthought at the beginning (which is, I guess, why I'm holding on to that "and"), but to bear a weight it builds from near the beginning towards the end (THEIR NEXT RELEASE IS GONNA BE FUCKIN' GOOD, I TELLS YA!), which should come across like a soft punch going into a hard hit. In terms of sentences.

That's the idea if I deconstruct it, at least. It may not come across that way at all, but I think that's what was going through my brain.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2013



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"thanks for not taking the feedback the wrong way though."

It's the only way we get better, man. Plus I dish out enough, I need to be able to take it or I'd just be a huge asshole.

I probably am one already, but I at least feel better about it this way.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 4th 2013



19437 Comments


that's a good point AW. like i said it comes down to personal preference. I'm not saying you can't start sentences with the word and..maybe just do it a bit less. but they're YOUR reviews you can do whatever the hell you want.

and i've never thought you were an asshole lol

oubli
March 4th 2013



67 Comments


Good review, pos'd

InfamousGrouse
March 4th 2013



3177 Comments


that band name is so nerdy

Digging: Jackson C. Frank - Jackson C. Frank

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013



19437 Comments


nah it's not that bad

InfamousGrouse
March 5th 2013



3177 Comments


..Do you get the reference? I wouldn't assume many Americans would, unless they were majoring in history obviously

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2013



19437 Comments


nope i can't say that i do.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2013



1981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darien_venture

Yup.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2013



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Falling somewhere between fellow Scots Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic & Dananananaykroyd, The Darien Venture deliver more tempo-switching math-rock on their 2nd EP 'Indications'. Comparitively more controlled than their raw debut 'The Back to the Future EP', this release isn't necessarily better for that fact, with the near 5 minute durations of 3 of these 5 tracks stretching the band a little too far. The ever-present angular dual guitar work is a strength & everything here is technically accomplished, but the quintet still need to work on hooks & differentiating themselves from their peers. Recommended Tracks: E_R_A, Animals & Heights.



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