The Darts brought their brand of high energy, goth/riot grrl punk to Evel Pie on July 12th and left quite the impression on me.
The band, which describes itself as “If Elvira and Wednesday Adams consumed flesh and drank shots of snake venom” is loud, brash and yet sweet all at once.
The Darts features Nicole Laurenne (organ/lead vocals), Christina Nunez (bass), Rikki Styxx (drums), and Meliza Jackson (guitar). They somehow combine the fierceness of L7 with the Gothic undertones of Bauhaus and add a drop of psychedelic keys for good measure. In fact, it’s hard to categorize them at all. I’ll just go with “awesome”.
Nicole, clad in a black slip and barefoot, slithers across her keyboard. She stalks the stage and then lashes at you with throaty vocals that show she means business. She is passionate and graceful, raw, and at times unhinged. I struggled with the decision to mention the obvious about Nicole’s performance, as I don’t want to venture into creeper territory and make the women of this group feel fetishized, but it is an important fact. She is sexy. Sexy in the sense that you have to both look and listen to her as she delivers the music. You’d be foolish ignore either the sights or the sounds.
All the members of this group are exciting. Nunez at times looking stoic. She carries a look like she could cut you and then kiss the wound. She holds down a steady, thumping bass line that marries well with Rikki’s drumming. Rikki's drumming style juxtaposes with her smiling, girl next door persona. Meliza stands her ground at the side, chugging out power chords with a sneer that reminded me of Joan Jett. She filled in the spaces between Nicole’s ethereal keyboard lines very nicely, creating a sonic backdrop that sounded both classic, yet fresh and new.
Stand out songs were “Breakup Makeup”, “Carry me Home" and “Slay Me". These made we want to get their entire catalog, starting with their newest release I Like You But Not Like That. The album was recently released on Alternative Tentacles records.
The Darts is a must see live. Just be prepared to be mesmerized.
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Stephy Hayward for ZRockR Magazine, All Rights Reserved