Album Review: Darlia – Petals

By on Thursday, 5th March 2015 at 12:00 pm

Blackpool has yet to be labelled with a reputation for cultivating firecracker, grunge rock. With their mini-album ‘Petals’ however, the town’s native rock ‘n’ roll trio Darlia could be in a position to complete that transformation.

That transformation will have to come after you piece your way through their previous singles, mind. Darlia’s attempt at a so-called ‘mini-album’ sees them strike at your ears with what is essentially, an extended EP: a half way house between their ballsy breakthrough singles and a debut full length, which is anticipated for release at the end of 2015.

‘Stars Are Aligned’ has been a defining track in their steady rise, with a fug of heavy, thrashing riffs that kicks open the eight-track collection, as 20-year old frontman Nathan Day’s adds woozy Brit-drawl with the lyrics, “Let’s not make peace again, I’m tired of hearing amends”. Darlia are committed to casting a sound far bigger than their three-piece, pulling it off with catchy appeal and memorable choruses, both here and on ‘Never Been to Ohio’. The band’s notoriety first came with their breakout track ‘Queen of Hearts’, which has been supercharged with a new recording for ‘Petals’. The swift 2 minutes and 47 seconds are now even more intense, as they navigate dramatic and charging shifts in momentum, from steady indie rock verses that are laced with a volley of riffs, before surging into euphoric choruses.

‘Candyman’ is where the band really hit the sweet spot of their anthemic indie rock and live up to the expectations as one of the UK’s most promising new bands, however. They remain grungy and fierce, rushing with overpowering choruses, but the driving bass, lofty drums and bolshy vocals (“choose which doomsday suits you most, while I set the scene…”) keep them sounding more controlled and mature as they ebb into the grunge-pop of ‘Dear Diary’. On ‘Say Your Prayers’, Darlia come as close to a ballad as they may ever come, and it’s a cracking effort. Slow burning, at this tempo they accomplish their most nostalgic moments, including with their acoustic closing cuts of ‘Pandemonium’ and ‘Candyman’.

Just as they needed to prove their worth as more than flat-out rock and rollers, Day and his bandmates have proven themselves to be songwriters who are equally adept at channelling a more passive and composed sound. Reverbing riffs are still their backbone, but Darlia have finally highlighted that there’s far more to them than raucous energy alone. Now it’s just a question of which direction they’ll take their album in – they can only coast along on their standout singles for so long.


‘Petals’ is out now on B-Unique Records. You can stream it in full below. Tickets to their just announced April/May UK headline tour are on sale now.

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