CD Review: 'Those Darlins' by Those Darlins

Nikki Darlin, from left, Jessi Darlin and Kelley Darlin put their own spin on country and punk.
Nikki Darlin, from left, Jessi Darlin and Kelley Darlin put their own spin on country and punk. (By Travis Huggett)
Friday, July 3, 2009

THOSE DARLINS

"Those Darlins"

Kindred spirits: Go-Gos, Blake Babies, Avett Brothers, Violent Femmes

Show: Tuesday at Iota. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. 703-522-8340. http://www.iotaclubandcafe.com.

Those Darlins aren't the first group to marry traditional country music to punk-rock, and they won't be the last. What makes these Tennessee women so refreshing is not their innovation but their memorable choruses. When "Wild One," their first single on their self-titled debut CD, begins, you may not know what to make of the ramshackle singing and guitar strumming, but you will soon get caught up in the trio's rambunctious enthusiasm. And when they get to the chorus, the twangy, melodic couplet "If you don't want a wild one, quit hanging 'round with me/You knew right from the start that's my personality" proves irresistibly infectious.

These three young women clearly love country music; they even include two Carter Family songs on the album. That love is full of irreverence, however, for they remake the Carters' "Who's That Knocking at My Window" as Joan Jett might and the Carters' "Cannonball Blues" as Wilco might. And when Those Darlins get autobiographical, they can turn the binge-eating confession "The Whole Damn Thing" or the drunken-driving confession "DUI or Die" into a bouncy, barroom singalong.

-- Geoffrey Himes


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