The Dark Romantics - Some Midnight Kissin' (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Dark Romantics

Some Midnight Kissin' (2007)


Sleazy fuzz bass and an attempt at Southern gothic flair that would make Flannery O'Connor embarassed. Spacey synth rock standard formats and a touch of catchy pop melodies. I dunno, not totally feeling it, but not ready to write it off altogether. These guys could have some star power if they would just write some extremely catchy riff, gave in to the pop sensibilities that they try to restrain by straining the album through the frosted glass of the word "dark." Songs like "Of Loving Me" show promise in the interesting chord progression that kicks the song off, but halfway through it melts down into mediocre, mid-tempo four-chord riff rock.

To be honest, I'd like to have seen a real Southern influence on the music. Some lap steel, a bit of a twang, some 12 bar country blues. Something authentic feeling. A touch of roots. Instead, we have a leading guitar line through a spacey effects pedal that somewhat mimics the sound of a lap steel. And like a lot of bands these days, it sounds like a well-written and performed Radiohead-lite performance, made popular by groups who mimic that alterna-brit `90s sound like Coldplay and Muse and Cooper Temple Clause. I don't really feel a connection to the music or the wavering vocals. It's an aesthetic without any substance.

Other songs show promise, like "She's a Fire," which showcases some `60s pop-style drums and "This Is the Sound," which kicks off with some sleazy drums and riffs before actually turning into a rock 'n' roll song. Not just a rock song. Believe me -- it's all in the roll. "Baby Boy...Baby Girl" has some decent hooks, but slumps into a boring chorus.

Overall, the record sounds great and everything is aesthetically pleasing. The band knows how to concoct the sound they're looking for, but I just don't feel like it has matured yet. Give them some more Rolling Stones albums and let's see where that gets them.