tb-two* photo galleries
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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By MAX ASAYESH-BROWN, St. Petersburg High
Grade: ***, 3/5 asterisks
A year and a half of critiquing music has taught me that indie rock is perhaps the most common genre of music in the way that Chinese is the most commonly spoken language: teeming population. This assertion somewhat defeats the purpose of an “independent” genre, but it means more than that. The value of an indie band that is merely adequate is somewhat cheapened, while the value of a quality indie band mushrooms remarkably.
I won’t bore you by lamenting how easily an indie band can be unremarkable or repetitive — you’ve heard it all before. (Do I review too many indie bands?) Darwin Deez brings the usual suspects along, such as bouncy vocals and a charming stage name. Darwin Smith, frontman, boasts these vocals in a way that carry the music.
The worth of these vocals makes Deez something that can be listened to effortlessly, without undivided attention or even consciousness. Three cheers for mellow delights. I’m half-tempted to jump out of my seat and do the Carlton dance.
Watch out for Alice and You Can’t Be My Girl. The album does have an unsurprising problem with repetition, but these two songs stand out in the crowd. You Can’t Be My Girl is notable because of the participation of each and every Deez, rather than Smith’s vocals alone. The same is the case with Alice, which is more fast-paced, easy to dance, or maybe jog, to.
Darwin Deez ranks as average among an extremely dense genre of artists. Like many of its indie kin, it has its strengths, but it’s a white sheep lacking variety.