[sic] Magazine

Danny & The Darleans – Bug Out

There’s little more off-putting than a musician who treats his art, and by extension him or herself, too seriously. Danny Kroha, veteran singer/guitarist of influential garage-blues rockers The Gories, has never been one of those guys and his new album, the rudimentary Bug Out, the second with his Darleans – whirlwind drummer and fellow Detroit legend Richie Wohlfeil, as well as smoking bassist Colleen Burke – often plays out as truly Neanderthal garage, a massive and well-deserved grin on its stupid face throughout. Even when it does briefly touch on weighty subjects, “Leaving Here”, for example, opens with the lyric “Hey there, have you heard the news?/The women in this town have been misused!”, it’s the funnest blast of feminism you ever clapped ears on.

Bug Out sands down some of The Gories’ rougher edges – all traces of Kroha’s glam project, the Demolition Doll Rods, too – yet, with its bare-bones mono production, it retains an impressively cruddy DIY aesthetic. Almost all of it rolls out at breakneck speed as well, insanely catchy backwoods party-garage with which only the most dexterous of jitterbugs will be able to keep time! Kroha actually pants during the climax of “Cat Squirrel”, such is the energy of his delivery. His ever-impressive wail elsewhere ranges from the downright unhinged to a holler reminiscent of city-mate Jack White’s younger days.

A few minimalist and melancholy turns aside, Bug Out is a resolutely grimy album, one that picks out its sweet solos with dirty fingernails. Its drums sound crude. The de-tuned bass is low and fuzzy – sludgy even on power statements like “I’m Right Here”. And it makes for a hot and humid listen. “Let’s Stomp” is predictably awesome in this vein, its hand-clapped rhythm, Southern licks and killer bass groove combining to electric effect. Sounding like a Johnny Cash 33 spun at 45 rpm, “Wild About My Lovin’” is equally excellent, a brilliantly retro rock “n” roll solo as its backbone. When does retro become vintage? Kroha may just have found the formula. Turn on. Tune In. And Bug Out.

Best track: “Let’s Stomp”

~Bug Out is released 7th October 2016 via In The Red.~