In the tracklist alone, the Darcys evoke imagery of war – “Horses Fell,” “The Pacific Theatre,” “Hunting,” “Muzzle Blast,” “Lost Dogfights” – but what exactly are they at war with? Many bands releasing their third album would be at war with themselves, struggling to find a sound that is both similar to and an evolution from their beginnings. But the Darcys seem confident in their sound, an often weighty and kinetic blast led by the indeed militaristic drumming that evokes the finer moments of Bloc Party. The sound is dense in a way that doesn’t suggest over instrumentation or unnecessary production, but rather thoughtfulness.
One should beware a band that describes themselves as “art rock” – there’s a pretension that comes with it. Whatever their aim might have been in describing themselves in such a way, the Darcys manage to create an album that functions as a whole piece without bogging down in pretenses of grand art. There’s no clear single here; it’s an album that does function best as a full beginning-to-end listen.
So who is at war? There is a lot of “you” and “yours” and “ours” thrown around, so it’s maybe fair to assume that there’s a torn relationship here. The war may be less important than the outcomes though. For all the battles, the album begins with “I’m slipping / everything so quickly” in “Close to Me,” but by closing track “Lost Dogfights” we are left the words “You made your bed / now sleep in it.” Just as our narrator has grown and become more confident, so too have the Darcys in their sound – and it shows. (Arts & Crafts, arts-crafts.ca ) Devin King