Less than two years after their last full length and a year after their powerful Subsonic Dream/Bullet 7” for Alternative Tentacles, The Darts are back with an entirely new LP of songs, perfecting their retro garage/punk hybrid sound for their most satisfying effort yet.
Featuring members of the tragically short-live Arizona group Motobunny, as well as Brainspoon and the Love Me Nots, the group has decamped to to Los Angeles and. The Darts sound a bit like The Sonics being fronted by The Muffs’ Kim Shattuck after spending years playing with a Cramps cover band. The vibe is pure psychobilly, minus the “billy.”
Across a dozen tracks, The Darts churn out bass-heavy riffs over swirling guitars and moody synth that create a compelling backdrop for Nicole Laurenne’s sometimes creepy, always brilliant lyrics. Songs like the rollicking “My Way” and the surprisingly touching “Don’t Hold My Hand,” the closest thing to a love song here, show off the band’s range. The one misstep on I Like You But Not Like That is that the vocals sometimes get lost beneath the deep fog of music.
Though they’ve only been around since 2016, The Darts have quickly coalesced into a strikingly original group that have the songs and talent to bring together fans from a slew of seemingly disparate music scenes.