The rule goes that to be taken seriously in the modern-day psychedelic world you need a serious beard–this is why I trust Wooden Shjips, Darker My Love, and Rick Ross. There is no acid trip that can create a world so lush and fantastic as Bawse, but props to his pale-faced peers for attempting to try. Unlike Wooden Shjips who continue to drift further and further into drone, Darker My Love’s first two singles mark a retreat from the whirlpool. They channel The Byrds, The Big Star, and perhaps a little even early Pink Floyd.
If you’re judging it in contrast to that murderer’s row, Darker My Love fail to match their inspirations. In their defense, it’s practically impossible to score high quality acid these days– chemical wunderkinds no longer devise inspired new flavors of lysergics, they go to work for Pfizer. This is one of the reasons why I can read a 4-page expose of Cary Grant’s love affair with acid in this month’s Vanity Fair, and yet 50 years later, finding it is only feasible for those willing to follow Phish for a state or two. But still, the Dangerbird band’s new cuts are catchy and fun in a summery way, endearingly removed from the watery second wave of over-tanned blog darlings.
Best of all, it reminded me to play the Rain Parade’s Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, an overlooked artifact from LA’s Paisley Underground–the last time mind-expanding drugs were readily available and not the object of obloquy. Neon Indian learned what the Rain Parade understood a long time age: he probably should’ve taken acid with you. I haven’t heard the rest of Darker My Love’s record, so I’m not willing to vouch for the extent of their psychedelic leanings. But at the very least, they are smoking some good weed. And that’s Bawse enough for me.