SLINKY X’s Darn is a feelgood summer record if, for you, feeling good in the summer means waking up late and groggy on a Sunday, throwing on yesterday’s clothes, jumping in the car and stopping at the gas station on the way to a party because, while you didn’t have enough time in the morning to brush your teeth or shower, you have plenty of time to buy beer. In that moment, this is the disc you’d pop into your CD player (you’d be playing music off your phone, but you dropped it in a swamp last Tuesday and haven’t bothered to replace it).
Darn is fuzzy garage-pop, with riffing guitars laying the base for matched-up male-female vocals that alternate between “ba-ba-bas” and cheeky lines like:
“My brain feels like a slinky… always feel like I’m drinking/soda water from the sinky.”
That line, from lead track and standout “slinky,” sets the right tone for the album: not too serious, but not exactly silly – just cheerfully weird.
That vibe continues into “Motherly Love” which, as far as I can tell, is sung from the perspective of a very sympathetic cat or very strange person. My favorite example of the overall feeling of Darn, however, comes from “history”:
“I can’t do this to myself/I can’t do this to my besties/I can’t do this to my family/I can’t let you take over me.”
Treated differently, that refrain could come off as wincing-ly cute, but here, it plays as sweaty, catchy and endearing.
Not every song’s so memorable – “chatty kathy” is a nice change of pace, but never quite goes anywhere, and while “boogie man” is a cool mashup of Black Sabbath and Sonic Youth, it feels repetitive. You also might find yourself zoning out during the guitar solos that show up pretty much every song.
Still, Damn ends on a high note, with the groovy “i breed rabbits.” “rabbits” isn’t the same kind of poppy tune as the rest of ‘em – it’s shout-y, tense and off-kilter like a lost Pixies deep track and it shows the band’s range.
Check the whole album out here, download it for free (or better yet, opt to pay for it) and throw it on your phone – it’s great to drum along to while you’re driving.