Some songs pick you up, some put you down. And some songs manage to do everything at once and – in a good way – fuck you up completely. Like the songs by The Don Darlings.
The Don Darlings always make me want to smile, dance, toss a bottle and drink myself dead all at once. They somehow manage to unite a lot of great things in one neat, five-piece hell of a band. They have songs about heartbreak, drinking and dying and a gravel-voiced singer from Dallas, Texas, so I’ll be excused for wanting to mention the word ”country” in this text, but I do so reluctantly. Or like Mr. Damon ”The Reverend” Collum puts it himself:
“Ya know the last thing we want to be associated with in the slightest is this fuckin’ limp dick bullshit country pop or super overproduced/undersouled crap that many people associate with the word country. Amen.”
The Don Darlings need not worry, though. They are credible enough to call their music anything they want, and I’ve heard the description dark, southern Americana a few times, and it hits the spot quite nicely. The boys have a penchant for the rural twilight as well as Hopperesque cityscapes where the drunks loom in the gloom in bars and other words ending in -oom. And on stage The Dons are nothing short of incredible. I’ve seen them rock in clubs, outdoors, at parties, big stages, small stages, with rowdy crowds, drunken crowds or plain asshole crowds – The Don Darlings handle them all with that mixture of care and carelessness that is the true mark of a great band.
- Björn Westerlund, freelance music journalist