Darklands – Hate It Here [Review]

Hate It Here Providence, R.I. post-punk concern, Darklands first arrived on our radar in 2014 with their appearance on the And Flowers, And Bees Mix Tape issued by estimable Boston indie Disposable America. The band formed a year earlier sparked by a mutual affinity for hardcore and 90’s indie touchstones, Archers Of Loaf, Built To Spill, and Sonic Youth. Over the course of a few EP’s the trio of Sam Patrick (Guitar/Vocals), David Marcotte(Bass), and Jeff Novak (Drums)have pushed and refined their sound into something that feels familiar and yet completely unique. On their first full length LP, Hate It Here Darklands deliver a debut that deals with the grim reality of being alone and exorcising loss which gives the album considerable weight, at least to my ears.

Control kicks off the album with muffled guitar chords and Sam Patrick’s plaintive and sad as fuck lyrics “repeat your words alone all day, make me hate them more, …he’s in ground” before a sea of crackling distortion, drums and buoyant bass lines come crashing in. See You Soon is a charging anthem with gigantic hooks propelled by intricate rhythms and earnest vocals. On the albums centerpiece and arguably strongest track is The Hill I Choose To Die On, Patrick states his bad intentions, “I’m here for the wrong reasons” the song sways and teeters back and forth threatening to collapse while being held together by a thick coat of guitar fuzz, a beautifully ramshackle track. Northern Ignorance is pure cacophony which displays the bands punk leanings, for a blissful two and half minute post hardcore romp. The album comes to a close with the Like A House On Fire, a slow building track the begins with chiming guitar chords, reminiscent of Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins, but moments later Darklands’ own sonic identity shines through as fuzz pedals are stomped upon and subtle pop hooks are tossed about for an exhilarating close.

Throughout, Hate It Here, Darklands offers up an accomplished and varied full length debut that not only addresses the grim circumstances of finding your way after loss, but it gives us eight reasons to keep going with equal parts guitar squall, infectious pop hooks, and punk catharsis.

Hate It Here is out now on Atomic Action Records

A Conversation With Jared Mann of Twin Foxes

tf_promo_6I first discovered Providence’s Twin Foxes in 2014 when I happened upon their their 3 song demo. I was immediately taken by the trio’s penchant for earnest lyricism, gigantic pop hooks, and their noise rock prowess. Since then the band has continued to impress with a self titled EP in 2015 and this years excellent split with Darklands . On February 9th Twin Foxes will issue their debut full length, Sleeping On The Attic Floor and tonight the band will play Noise For Toys |PVD. Earlier this week I caught up with Twin Foxes’ fronter Jared Mann to talk about the new album, the Providence scene, and his lack of a bad Christmas sweater.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What can you tell us about the forthcoming LP?

Jared Mann: The new record is called Sleeping on the Attic Floor. It’s our first LP, but it’s probably the heaviest thing we’ve done music and lyric wise. I took on some themes of self-discovery, mental illness, and family history in my own life and I believe used the record as a stepping stone to grow as a person. Music’s super therapeutic for me, and spilling my guts this time around just felt right. The production aspect was something I had dreamt up a while ago. I can get pretty particular about that stuff, and since I’m an audio engineer for my job, I just took upon myself to engineer and produce it at my studio, Distorted Forest. We mixed and mastered at Machines with Magnets.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What are the release plans for Sleeping On The Attic Floor?

Jared Mann: The record will be coming out on Midnight Werewolf Records out of Boston and Tor Johnson Records out of Providence on 2/9/17. Both labels have been super supportive of the record, and it just feels right doing it with them. They work super hard and are involved in the whole process. As true diy-ers we definitely connect at that level.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: How do you feel Twin Foxes have evolved since you began?

Jared Mann: Well I think when we originally started, I was kinda burnt out on music. I had done it for years, and this was just a way to play punk music again and have fun. But it kinda made me fall in love with it all over again. I think the other guys feel the same way too. A musical relationship grew from playing with each other, and I think something bigger blossomed. Now with this record coming out, I’m pretty confident in saying it’s the best thing I’ve done creatively so far.

The Ash Gray Proclamation: What can you tell us about the current landscape of the Providence scene?

Jared Mann: Providence has a great scene. It’s small but a lot of these people have been doing it for a long time. Whether you play in the same genre or not, I think people are generally stoked if you’re doing something creative. There’s a lot of great bands, venues, and people that ensure shows and spaces keep happening. We recently lost a few venues, which has been a bummer, but I know something good will come from it. It always does.

The AGP: Any favorite Providence acts we should be checking out?

Jared: Boring, Darklands, Snowplows, 14 Foot 1, Way Out, Fine, Double Dragon, Hurt Ensemble, Gap Year, Minibeast, Edgar Clinks, Whore Paint, Violet, Goon Planet, Weak Teeth, Hairspray Queen. I’m sure I’m forgetting others too!

The AGP: As we prepare for the inaugural Noise For Toys – Toys For Toys benefit tonight I’m compelled to ask, what’s the best Christmas gift you’ve ever received ?

Jared: Funny enough I grew up not celebrating Christmas haha! So I’m probably not the guy to ask, but I’ve gotten into it later in life. It’s mainly my close friends that exchange stuff, and those gifts are all pretty great. I never got any bad Christmas sweaters or anything, but I’d probably even like those too.

The AGP: Other than a new album what can we expect from Twin Foxes in 2018?

Jared: Well we’re going on tour in February for some dates with the band, then I’m doing a run of solo shows in March. I have the next record demoed out too, so I figure we’ll start production on that soon as well.

Tonight: Noise For Toys – A Toys For Tots Benefit| PVD AS220 @ 8PM
Hallelujah The Hills + Coaches + Kal Marks + Twin Foxes + Black Beach
$10/$7 with an unwrapped toy

Event Page