Friday, June 6, 2014


If the media is to be trusted, there are approximately seventeen adjectives commonly used to describe musics of the heavy variety. In the interest of space I'm not going to list them all here, but you can guess which ones are the main offenders: punishing, brutal, chaotic, unhinged, sick, fucking sick (to my knowledge, these are separate designations), pummeling, etc. So many little harmless words associated with violence and oppression. Terrified I am--and no doubt you are as well! Wild times, friends.

Darto is a band from Seattle that plays music of the heavy variety--and since I am tasked with writing about them, I insist on refraining from using any of the above words to describe their particular heaviness. Yes, their jams run the gamut between sick and fucking sick, but why roll in this gutter? Why feed from this trough if these vegetable-scraps are ripe for the compost? If I may invoke a lyric from the ever-quotable Lou Reed: Vicious, you hit me with a flower.

Now imagine that flower while listening to the song posted below. Imagine its colors, the shape of its petals, what kind of deadly allergens are eagerly waiting to pummel your sinuses--and brutally pummel at that. "Boiler" brings to mind a slew of comparisons, and all of them excite: I hear a little Jesus Lizard under hypnosis, Unwound on one helluva tear, Lungfish if you were listening to them through a pair of great sounding, broken headphones. Darto doesn't indulge the heaviness common in certain strains of metal so much as they amplify and update strains of the nineties' favorite post-genres--rock and hardcore, natch--in a way that sounds forward-thinking in any decade (including, but especially ours).

I like this flower; I think that I love this flower. I've not only considered buying a potted version of this flower, but I want to pick up a packet of seeds so I can plant an entire garden of these COMPLETELY UNHINGED, PUNISHINGLY BRUTAL flowers next summer. Until then, we get to enjoy this beguiling, highly nuanced, intricate and intelligent flower this summer at Total Fest XIII.

No comments: