Saturday, November 2, 2013
Brand New Carrot on a String by Darkness Dear Boy brings to mind 90s rock. The band fuses party rock with ska-like influences and punk rock, touching on the Violent Femmes, but in a manner more digestible for everyday audiences. Both of the songs “Stalemate” and “Terminal” would provide the perfect soundtrack for the opening credits of a Wes Anderson style indie-comedy film.
While elements of darkness are certainly present within Brand New Carrot on a String there’s more enjoyment and fun for the audience than advertised. The track “Dog in a Manger” for me defines Brand New Carrot on a String. A mix of apathy, reggae, argument, humor, anger, fast punk, and rock that forces at very least a swaying to the beat. The song says “Have some fun now or get out.”
“Get Off Me,” among many other tracks, made listening to this album and writing this article difficult. Every time I played one these fun poppy songs my five-year-old son ran to the computer jumping around, dancing, and trying to push me out of the way like some super fan groupie. The phenomenon compares much to the same of what I witnessed with adult men and women at a Darkness Dear Boy show at Long Wong’s.
Prior to the show starting, my first thought abruptly entered, “Great another local front man/local musician in a freaking cowboy shirt.” Personally, I could go the rest of my life without ever seeing a musician in one of these shirts unless they ride up to the show on a horse. That has nothing to do with the music, and I’m sure I will get over it eventually. While watching Darkness Dear Boy live, I soon found my major criticism of Brand New Carrot on a String would have to be the disconnect from what it’s like to experience this group live. A certain amount of energy live gets lost somewhere from the stage to the album.
The show started off slow, but after the 3rd or 4th song D.D.B. shook off the day and filled the room with fun loving energy. This energy comes with a certain amount of angst, but not so much that it brings the audience down. Instead, this fun loving energy with a side of angst forces a partnered nod of approval that whether dancing front and center or slamming buck fifty pints at the bar administers priceless moments of enjoyment and gives the audience a healthy and happy “Slap to the face and a kick to the psyche.”