The Darcys Awe at The Drake Underground

The Darcys @ The Drake, 09-17-10

Date of show: September 17, 2010

The Darcys is a band I have been meaning to see for the better part of 2010 and they’ve been on my radar since their 2007 debut release, Endless Water. For some reason, the stars never aligned to make this happen until now. I am full of regret for having missed out on them live for so long, but really glad that it finally happened. They really are a gem in the Toronto indie music scene, which is something I picked up on when I reviewed their House Built Around Your Voice 7” and is even more apparent live. Seeing as I had been waiting for a time to catch a set by The Darcys for so long, I ended up with quite a bit of say.

As soon as they hit the stage, it was apparent that these guys want to present themselves in manner that separates themselves as individuals from themselves as part of the band. They look well put-together in their best dress shirts and vests, which indicates how much they take their live show seriously. Oh and it doesn’t hurt that they are one of the best-looking bands in Toronto. (I’d quote someone else (coughRachelcough) as saying that after their ConstantinesShine a Light set at The Boat that we covered, but, to be fair, I agreed.)

On this night at The Drake Underground, the turnout was still relatively modest for The Darcys, who opened up the night for Sandman Viper Command (more on their set here) and The Golden Dogs (more on their set here), but it gradually picked up throughout the set. It’s a shame, though, because more people should hear The Darcys. And I mean that sincerely. Their sound hints at their love of the Constantines, particularly at their fiercest and most rocking moments, but the vocals are sometimes reminiscent of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. Regardless of who may be influencing their sound, what is certain is that they sound impressive and they have evolved nicely since Endless Water.

It’s hard for a band to move on and re-record after the departure of a lead singer, but this band has been resilient and has welcomed the opportunity. If anything, this change has forced The Darcys to grow into their own and it’s noticeable when you see them live. Jason Couse (vocals, Rhodes, guitar) is obviously still finding his own when it comes to his stage banter, but you can’t hear that in his vocals. He executes the vocals so well that it is hard to imagine that he was ever singing just as backup/harmonies. His vocals are the epitome of brooding and his voice can really find a way to send shivers. He makes pretty seamless transitions between guitar and the Rhodes, which plays a key part in their sound. Mike le Riche is masterful on guitar, heavy on distortion and just straight up impressive. I couldn’t help but be awestruck. Harmonies from le Riche also add compelling layers to the vocals. Bassist Dave Hurlow is like the quiet foundation. He may not be at the front of the stage, but his basslines provide texture and depth to the songs. Wes Marskell brings a certain element of power, with hard-hitting drums and with beats that stand out and showcase how gifted he is on drums. Every single member of this band brings talent to the stage and they, without a doubt, absolutely lay it out on stage.

Their set revealed a good portion of tunes that will be on their upcoming album, Young Believers, slated for release in early 2011. If their album translates like their live set, then we’re all in for a treat. Also, rumour has it that The Darcys have something up their sleeves that will tide everyone over until Young Believers is ready for release. But hey, that’s just a rumour. Everyone should rest easy, though. Young Believers will be released and from what I can tell, it’s looking like it’ll be worth the wait.

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Categories: Live Music


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