Even though pretty much all of its most important luminaries are now dead, the textures and themes of the glam era will never disappear from modern music. And because of that we have to endure a ton of unimaginative contemporary copycats trying to plant their respective flags on the genre, maybe seeking to be known as the ones to finally bring about a full-fledged revival.
Darling Flesh is not one of those. They certainly have the talent to do a spitting image replication of the genre. To be a reenactment band, if you will. But their approach is much more idiosyncratic and offbeat. Which more accurately reflects glam’s appeal than a robotic mimicking of its standards. Bowie, Ferry, Eno, (and everyone else in that camp) were all super-weird in their heyday, even compared to other musicians.
Opener “Psychic Tiers” illustrates strangeness this well because it’s not even a glam song. It’s just not. It’s awesomely innovative and sexual, but it’s not exactly glam. There’s no boogie-woogie. There’s no blues. It’s a funky, always slightly-behind-the-beat groove that sounds as if all the musicians involved just guzzled a ton of codeine before they started playing. Obviously a stylistic touch. The whispery, seductive, Bolanesque vocals are the only thing remotely glammy on this one, but the rest of the album is more anchored to the genre.
If you’re a huge T. Rex fan, you will be blow away by “Ivory Leg,” with its acoustic guitars and bongo. “We’ll be dead before the morning comes,” Austin Canik croons fatalistically.
The highest point of the entire album though is easily “Martian Pumps,” which, like the opener, is not exactly glam. It’s a very modern-sounding composition, but with the crackling and fuzziness of something older. The band puts themselves in the shoes of lonely aliens in a surprisingly catchy ballad. And again, like the opener, the beat is so retarded and inhibited that it feels like the whole world has temporarily shifted into slo-mo. There’s something mildly psychedelic about listening to this one after 3-4 beers. Try it.
Five Word Review: Falsetto-y sleaze rock plus bongos