Kill Some Time
(Dirt Cult Records)
One cannot help but feel grateful for being allowed into this edgy edge of the universe. Portland, Oregon”s Dark/Light are back with their new record, Kill Some Time.
The mercurial Northwest band refers to their particular brand of garage and punk rock as mutant punk, a seemingly needless distinction that could not feel any more apropos. Over the course of their eight-track album, a follow up to last year”s eponymous EP, the band provides a wide variety of sounds, while never compromising their gritty appeal.
Vocals are a large part of the Dark/Light style. Straight off on the opening track, “In Our Dreams” their boy/girl voices come crashing in all over one another, the basis of the two-minute song a sour, racing guitar line. On the much lighter, “Monday In The Clouds” they sprinkle elements of jangle pop in. The title track plays out the hardest with crushing riffs set up against a surf rock rhythm guitar, a very cool flavor that bleeds over onto the roadster inspired “Cold Weather Music” that stands out for its fuzzy, distorted bass. On “Survive The Night” the album”s penultimate track, Dark/Light goes for a little Misfits drama, and although the track isn”t my favorite on it”s own, it feels earned. The last song, “Young Habits” tries to capture the imminent collapse that the entire album hints at in a single, four-minute burst and while this lacks the nuances of the others, it feels also like the best Dark/Light song in the live milieu.
Whether or not garage or punk – or mutant punk – is your cup of tea, this is one razor sharp record worthy of consideration. Dark/Light gets in and out of their songs, cutting their sound bare down to the bone. The band is keen on maintaining a level of ferocity, while also teasing experimentation with enough verve to keep it all feeling fresh.