“Can you really be punk in comfortable suburban Surrey?” is a question frequently thrown at a skate-punkers Darko, who on September 8th will be releasing their third EP via Lockjaw/Bird Attack Records. The six track release continues a narrative the band plan to finish up with an album release next year, and having just completed a tour of Europe (sixteen gigs in six countries), it’s going to be one the whole world will hear about.
Opening with A Voice Unheard, a half a minute prologue that serves as a song in its own right, the album breaks in relatively gently, but not with the dominant percussion and unique vocals that remain throughout. Canthus Viewpoints switches the vocals to something a little harsher, whilst keeping the hints of deadpan there, fitting snuggly between the drum solos and manic riffs. With an abruptly staccato and gradually pacier breakdown leading to a final hectic close, it’s clear they’re not up for sticking to conventions.
Atlas To Atlantis layers the already rough vocals with something even harsher. Although the instrumental solos seem to hold a little more structure there’s still the raw, edgy sound to them, built up succinctly to the chanting, powerful chorus and close of the track. The second half of the EP kicks off with Hanging Off A Memory which at under three minutes is bullet of sound, coated in a flurry of cymbals, riffs and roars, destined to set a crowd alight at a live show.
Penultimate Timepieces And Lock Shaped Hearts sets of rather fuzzily and faint, with chanted layered vocals adding strength into the track. The half sang/half shouted title line will have live crowds group together, and the following lyrics serve as the ideal opportunity for a gang-vocals audience-participation set closer. Seaward finishes up the release with a variety of vocals crammed into the two minutes, and the band don’t stop giving it their all, right until the final harsh line and staggered riff.
I don’t know if there ever were “conventions” to punk (surely its existence denies them…), but if there were, this EP blows them all out the window. Punk, like you’ve never heard it before.