Review Summary: Baby girl, I wanna hear you howl.
With their 2013 debut album Orthodox
, Beware of Darkness come out swinging with their raucous style of blues and garage-influenced alternative rock. Wearing their influences on their sleeve, the Santa Barbara-based trio let it all out with their fiery first album. The Zeppelin-esque riffs and boisterous chorus of lead single “Howl” bring to mind The White Stripes, specifically “Icky Thump”. Frontman Kyle Nicolades’ vocals are filled with swagger, oozing with a seductive quality on up-tempo rockers like the debauchery-soaked “Sweet Girl” and “Heart Attack”.
Although the second half of Orthodox
is much more slower-paced than the first, it’s just as great. Album highlight “All Who Remain” is the most emotional cut on the record, and one of the best. The pain and agony in Nicolades’ usually upbeat vocals do show off a deeper side to him that is rarely seen on the album. If anything, Orthodox
’s second half features too many ballads placed too close to each other, which causes it to feel more repetitive due to the tracklisting. The Queen-tinged “Morning Tea” and piano-laden “Life on Earth"” stand out amongst the rest, although there are some rockers such as “My Planet is Dead” that remind listeners of their faster side. Overall, Beware of Darkness are a promising young indie rock band who wear their 60s influences proudly on their sleeve, even if they can be a little bland at times, and their second album will definitely be one of interest.