Darts hit the bullseye with their frantic rock

Pull out your ripped jeans cos we’re heading back to the nineties! Thrashing out lots of grimy tunes, Melbourne five-piece Darts make awesome old-school grunge.


Darts are on target* with their 90’s inspired rock. The dichotomous vocals and frantic riffs make for a dynamic listen.

Up to no good brothers, Angus (vocals, guitar) and Andrew Ayres (drums), started the band back in 2007. Donning their flanno shirts and duct-taping their drum kit, they bashed out tunes in their parents’ garage as a two-piece. But, wanting to blast out even more noise, they soon added Ally Campbell-Smith (vocals, guitar), Paige X. Cho (keys, percussion) and Jessie Fernandez (bass, vocals) to the mix and amped up their punchy grunge sound.

With some clanging tunes up their flanno sleeves, these five scruffy kids quickly made a name for themselves in their local stomping grounds. Taking out the triple J Unearthed title and playing at Groovin the Moo in 2009, they soon released their debut album Habitual Slack. A compilation of dirty guitars, gritty vocals and bittersweet melodies, it packed a punch and showed they knew how to thump out a heavy beat.

Following in the sonic footsteps of the Pixies, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr, their thick sound comes courtesy of their haphazard bass lines and dual lead vocals. Taking hold of your eardrums, Angus’ growl attacks while Ally’s breathy vocals retreat, giving the Darts their nineties-inspired loud-quiet vocal edge.

Supporting the likes of the Wavves, Glass Towers, NO ZU and Bored Nothing, it’s no wonder they’ve just been signed to legendary Sydney label Rice is Nice and are about to release their second album. Delving into their experiences with depression, their latest LP Below Empty & Westward Bound was recorded in a Melbourne bedroom and mastered by Joe Laporta (Yuck, Wavves, Arcade Fire). So, it’s safe to say that it’ll be full of awesome tunes.

In the lead up, they’ve released their first hard-hitting single D. A chaotic mess of garage rock, it thrashes around like an unkempt beast. Swamped in heavy guitars and Angus’ growling vocals, it’s an emotionally-charged tune sure to rile up any crowd. Biting into some frantic riffs, your only relief from its panicky pace comes from Ally’s soft vocals that creep in to assess the damage.

Hitting you like a punch to the guts, this one’s sure to not only leave a bruise but leave you wanting more from the scruffy five-piece. So, I guess it’s a good thing their new album is out May 15. Better rip up some jeans now!

Ed: Pun ‘o the week.



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