Rather than a full debut album, this is actually a mini album that brings together all Darlia’s singles to date, including a new recording of their debut track “Queen of Hearts”. It is certainly a release we have been looking forward to since the moment we first saw that video. At the time we thought that at last we had witnessed an indie group that sounded and looked like a ‘proper’ band a la The Manic Street Preachers.
Opening track “Stars Are Aligned” certainly doesn’t disappoint, it’s a corking indie rock song with a hint of glitz and glammer. Full of crunching guitars and a sing a long chorus that just soars. Whilst newest single “I’ve Never Been to Ohio” starts with a great drumbeat before bursting in to another huge anthem of a chorus. It has a darker feel which creates a sound reminiscent of Mansun at their catchy best.
There is no let up on the instant appeal of the songs as the album continues with the brilliant “Queen of Hearts”. The band then hit a more melodic and ‘pop’ sound with “Dear Diary” which in the right or, depending on your point of view, wrong hands could easily be tuned in to the next big hit for The Vamps! (That’s a plus for us!!).
The ‘final’ song on the album is “Say Your Prayers” which is the Indie equivalent to a power ballad and is bound to be a live crowd favourite. The album also includes acoustic versions of “Pandemonium” and “Candy man”. The second of these proves a real treat. It takes the hardest and most caustic track on the album and turns it in to a great new track. It almost has an Oasis feel but actually mainly just shows that taking a good song and breaking it down really demonstrates its real strength.
It’s a relief that the excitement generated by that first video isn’t dampened by this release. Indeed, the only disappointment we are left with is that it’s all over far too soon. Darlia come across as a ‘real band’ who are capable of generating a scene and a loyal fan base like bands such as The Manic Street Preachers and Placebo did before them. Like those bands, behind the great songs, there is also a hint of sleaze and danger sprinkled with a bit of glitter and that’s the type of band and songs we really need right now.