Darlington - Euthanize Me (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Euthanize Me (2004)


In the past few months, Disaster has released both the Exploding Fuck Dolls retrospective and Darlington's new record Euthanize Me, effectively unearthing the father and giving birth to the son at the same time: Christy Darlington's latest sound bears more than a striking resemblance to a young Duane Peters and the Fuck Dolls in particular. So like that comparison implies, this is snotty, attitude driven punk rock with more than a few skateboarding anthems. It's nothing that hasn't been done before, but despite Darlington's apparent distain for the newer variants of the genre, the band manages to avoid the typical "street punk" limitations with a healthy combination of youthful vigour and a love of good pop song writing.

The sequencing on the album might deceive those who don't venture past the first few tracks, because while the record leads off with speedy buzzsaw guitars and a middle finger held straight out of the late 70s, Darlington's skill as a pop songwriter really emerges later on the slower material like "Oxygen" and "Euthanise Me." There's a rough-hewn charm to these tracks, an awkward outcast feel borrowed with respect from Mr. Costello that manifests itself all over the album. The Spanish language "Como De Flor" is a fun bit of bubblegum pop with a driving backbeat. It's followed by the blazing "Tarantula," a purely instrumental piece that rocks along for no longer than a minute and a half of authentic sounding 80s style hardcore, only to lead into another cut of sweet pop-punk. The record changes gears more than a few times and it gives the album life and enough dynamics to keep it from ever falling into a pattern.

Christy's liner notes indicate that this 12 track album was recorded in a single day with few takes. That's hardly boasting as it's flaws are left for all to see, but the lack of polish works well. Darlington's voice has a realistic high range that he employs quite liberally, one can envision some hack producer salivating at the thought of feeding it through the autotuner a few times to achieve that mainstream pop wine. Since that potential is there, the fact that the record leaves all the rough edges and loud guitars in, even on love songs like "Beautiful," is a huge bonus. If anything Darlington harkens back to what authentic pop-punk could and should sound like.