Danny & the Darleans – Bug Out (3 stars)

Party album with a frenetic tempo

Danny & the Darleans – Bug Out

If Bug Out was a flatmate, they'd be the worst. Nocturnal, allergic to the leccy bill and a repeat fridge raider, they'd make you look like a total killjoy by establishing themselves as the life and soul of every party. Danny Kroha, graduate of the Gories and the Demolition Doll Rods, has returned as frontman of Danny & the Darleans. Consisting of Kroha on vocals and guitar, tornado drummer Richie Wohlfeil and bassist Colleen Burke, they're a light-hearted, fun rock act. They're not wasting time – only two of the record's 11 tracks are over three-minutes long, and all but one maintain a frenetic tempo.

Just because it's a party album doesn't mean it won't make you think, though. Hidden behind Kroha's wolfish vocals, leatherback guitar riffs and slack-jawed rock'n'roll vocabulary is a rich seam of songwriting dealing with anxiety, sci-fi-inspired dread and prescription drug addiction on woozy dirge 'Dr. Finger'. It's an interesting combination, but doesn't leave a lot of room to manoeuvre heavy subjects – a problem demonstrated on 'Leaving Here'. An album highlight, it blends politics with fast-paced rock, throwing proto-feminist statements ('Hey there have you heard the news/The women in this town have been misused!') about with wild abandon. It poses a tough question to listeners though – can you write a decent feminist rock song and still chuck about epithets like 'chicks'?

Maybe, just as with a crappy flatmate's past crimes against kitchen etiquette, it's best not to dwell on whether a band who describe themselves as 'apocalyptic party rockers' can deliver liberation in a two-minute rock song. Maybe it's best to just focus on the guitar solos.

Out Fri 7 Oct on In the Red.

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