1920 by Darkwater
Release date : August 2007
Reviewed by Anthony Morgan
“1920” is the sophomore single from Scottish Electro Rock act Darkwater, given a lending hand by a guesting mix from none other than Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian. Released via Up Next Records, it's the follow up to debut double A-side “Alone And” / “Easy Weakness” which saw issue in May. The group have headlined their own Dutch tour, toured Eastern Europe with Dog Eat Dog, played Skye Festival with Primal Scream and garnered high profile support slots with acts like Wolfmother, The Damned and Hayseed Dixie. Jägermeister recently inked a deal for sponsorship, and now the group are scheduled to headline both the White Air Extreme sport festival on the Isle of Wight on September 1st and The London Edge Alternative Fashion Festival in Olympia on September 2nd.
A-side cut “1920” possesses an edgy disco beat, boasting slightly less clean production than the average single that instigates hearts to race along via the dancefloor. The song boasts gentle teasing prior to the chorus kicking in, and those preemptive words are coated in mildly risque overtones. It's less overtly steamy than those scantily clad tracks that MTV shamelessly promote, and so possesses a quasi-genuine character that consequently beams forth. Sexual innuendo has long been a marketing ploy exploited by the record industry, and that's because record executives know the lucrative strengths of gift wrapped erotica. Alternative model Lora fronts the vocal charge, thus lending it's raunchy overtones an air of legitimacy. Scott Ian's mix, albeit audibly dirtier than the usual radio single, still conforms too rigidly to the unwritten rules of the UK top forty singles charts. A louder, rougher and altogether more powerful mix would have proved the wiser choice, possibly giving an intimate glimpse into how the track fares in live surroundings.
First B-side “Left Behind” emotes a distinctly better vocal performance, adopting a melancholic, reflective approach. A more natural take, the mid paced number throws Lola into an unforeseen light. The quiet confidence prevalent within “1920” is relatively absent here, replaced instead with a naked vulnerability that betrays the overall image being portrayed. A well chosen B-side, it offsets the quicker abrasiveness of the A-side and shows the listener a sharply different which Darkwater can surely rely upon. Second B-side “Find What We Take” is a live recording culled from a 2007 Glasgow show, and mixed by the band themselves. Financial considerations apologise for this somewhat, though electing to personally mix your own live efforts is usually a mistake. A great mix is paramount when it comes to live songs, and is usually the crucial factor which makes the live song in question superior or inferior. Here, the muddy quality unfortunately drowns out the vocals and even the music itself. Resembling a decent bootleg recording, it fails to live up to the standards outlined by the music buying public in terms of mix and production. With a proper mix, more justice may have been done.