Darwin Deez at Heaven
The American band Darwin Deez returned to London to play a show at Heaven, promoting the release of their second album, Songs for Imaginative People. The band enjoyed great commercial success with their self-titled debut LP, which reached number three in the UK indie album charts in 2010. Darwin Deez is the brainchild of front man Darwin Smith – an icon for the geek-chic fashion movement, which gained him a spot on the NME cool list. Having attended private arts college Wesleyan University, his student tales of love and life (all related to math and science) resonated with nerdy teens worldwide.
The curly-haired, headband-wearing leader appeared with his band on stage, performing a dance routine that is a regular feature in their set. Musically, the band began with familiar territory, opening with Constellations, a judicious choice that set the proceedings off rather well.
Sadly, from there on the gig descended into mediocrity and lacked the continuity you would expect from a top-level band. The gaps between songs were too long as the group didn’t seem completely at ease with the stage and the sound at the venue. At first, the use of dance sequences was fun and inventive, but the gimmick became old when the ensemble started producing a new one every ten minutes. Another worry was the quality of the new material from their latest album, which sounded like jumbled and disjointed mistakes for songs, with poor structure and pointless guitar solos.
It seems that Smith has sacrificed the catchy nature of his song writing for more meandering tracks with little discernible chorus, perhaps with the exception of You Can’t Be My Girl and Free (The Editorial Me). Darwin Deez’s only saving grace was that they were able to pull out hits such as DNA, Up in the Clouds and Radar Detector. Those songs were highlights, with the audience singing in unison, but they were few and far between. In fact, looking around, even the fans were unimpressed by the new material, which failed to inspire or connect. Unfortunately, it seems you need more than just an imagination to enjoy the band’s new songs.
Photos: Dwaine Field-Pellew
For further information and future events visit Darwin Deez’s website here.
Watch the video for Free (The Editorial Me) here: