The Angel's Share - Deadbeat Darling Album Review
Hailing from Brooklyn can be no bad thing when you're in a band, since many artists have survived its pitfalls, soaked its gritty beauty and lived to sing the tale. Here's Deadbeat Darling, an alternative-rock outfit who have clearly been drinking in the New York sun, as well as sneaking a few spins of Brit-rockers such as The Police, The Chameleons and Stateside successes like The Killers (early stuff). And you know what? For the most part, Deadbeat Darling have nailed it, but not without faults.
"The Angel's Share" is an eleven-track selection of tribal drums, chiming guitars and soaring vocals, which might sound like a Snow Patrol album to you - it's OK, you can come out now, they're better than that. For a start, they kick off with the offbeat and off kilter anthem that is, "Insomnia Salvation", which I can only assume is a homage to Calpol or Diazepam, judging by its title. Those big drums reappear throughout the album, not least on the obvious single-choice, "Surf India" and the previously issued "Promises" (an Allgigs single of the week last year).
But don't go thinking that this is all about pomp and bluster - the Deadbeats really can write the songs to back it up, plus they can also change tack for some of them, although I'm not too convinced with the reggae-flavoured "Peculiar Grace". Far better are the three closing songs, the percussive "Still Standing", the very grown-up "Loaded Game of Chance" and the mildly-skanking "Last Scene In Paris", the former marking the end of a decidedly barren middle section on this album. Joseph King's husky vocals are distinctive enough to be discernible from other alt-rock bands around at the moment, plus Ken Nelson's is pin-sharp throughout - the Coldplay producer has triumphed in making Deadbeat Darling sound like a band on the up after 7 years tough slog. Promising.