Album Reviews

Archie Bronson Outfit – Derdang Derdang

(Domino) UK release date: 13 March 2006

Derdang Derdang is Archie Bronson Outfit’s follow up to 2004’s littleknown but well received debut, Fur. It’s a journey through the West Countrytrio’s brand of infectious bluesy garage rock and evocative of a head oncollision between The Kills and the Arcade Fire.

The first single pressed off Derdang Derdang was the demonic – thoughfrankly brilliant – Dart For My Sweetheart. Its strong, lo-fi vigor is aperfect example of what this record is all about; infusing a dark garagerock musical skeleton with addictive and memorable pop hooks – more hooksthan a gang of pirates having a fishing contest.

Add to this the blissfully miserable vocals of Sam, who sounds a deadringer for Win Butler of the aforementioned Arcade Fire, and the mix is nighon irresistible. Both lyrically and melodically he is brutally original.”Pick a casket for me honey / It would be good to have your tongue,” he museson Kink, whilst on Dart For My Sweetheart he moans: “Eight. Lose your hate,it’s a game / Come on love me, it’s your fate.” His engaging style is vitalto the distinct sound that Archie Bronson Outfit present.

The first five songs are one long highlight, with the fantastic Kink -built around a mesmerising guitar riff – and the haunting Dart For MySweetheart as its centrepiece. By the end of the difficult and below parModern Lovers, however, it is clear that a dose of variety is necessary.

That dose is provided by Cuckoo, which tames the Archie Bronson beast somewhat(however temporarily) and refreshes the musical palate, featuring charmingacoustic guitar and subtle backing vocals. After that Derdang Derdangreturns to its natural feral self and continues in the same vein as before.

The production and engineering of Jacquire King (Black Lab,Saint James Infirmary) is noteworthy. He transforms guitars intovisceral, biting bastards, demanding attention against a backdrop of anever-strong rhythm section. That musical clich� that sometimes less is morecouldn’t be more apt for Derdang Derdang.

The album concludes with Harp For My Sweetheart, a beautiful acousticrendition of the ferocious Dart For My Sweetheart. It’s a perfect, endearingconclusion to the album.

Derdang Derdang is steeped in deeply American rootsy blues music. Itsounds as much an American export as a nice juicy burger. That it is bornfrom a band whose roots lie in the West Country almost makes it moreremarkable. Something tells me Derdang Derdang won’t get the attention itdeserves, but, if I was President – sorry, Prime Minister – then ArchieBronson Outfit would be the new kings of rock ‘n’ roll.

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