The Darby And Joan Club

Album Title: The Darby And Joan Club
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Indie Rock
The Darby And Joan Club's eponymous debut kicks off with a bang as a pulsating guitar line ushers in the first track, "Dog In A Raincoat". Lo-fi fuzziness abounds as garage rock vocals paired with boisterous buzzsaw guitar work begin what seems like a promising album.

Sadly, the band's subsequent tracks don't quite stack up to the opener. Listeners are mislead as the record is mostly comprised of midtempo, ultimately forgettable tracks with a few shades of compelling material sprinkled in between as if to tease us. While the Lethbridge, AB group dabbles in dirty garage rock and guitar-driven Built To Spill-esque instrumentation at times, the band's sound is predominantly anchored in maudlin indie-pop. Unlike Belle & Sebastian, Yo La Tengo, or other acts who pull off this aesthetic with flying colors, The Darby And Joan Club has failed to produce any undeniable hooks. Lorne Deimert's bland wedding-singer vocals may play a part in this but the onus of the blame should not rest on his shoulders alone. Instead of picking up the slack musically, the rest of the band drop the ball on numerous occasions and even indulge in needless, overly ambitious moments such as Lafev's glaringly gratuitous use of audio samples. The problem this band suffers from is not having trouble staying in the pocket but rather determining what their comfort zone is.

The album's first track is the standout and while a strong start is always appreciated, The Darby And Joan Club are an entirely different and less interesting band once the second song commences. Regardless of the various packages The Darby And Joan Club may offer, I won't be applying for a membership.

Writer: Vinh Cao

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