Dark Star – Twenty Twenty Sound

Dark StarDark Star are another now defunct band that I got into in the late 90’s. One way I heard these bands was by watching the much-maligned Later… With Jool’s Holland. Now I’m not a fan of world music, or having Jools needlessly joining in on boogie woogie piano with various bands. But the show did introduce me to loads of bands. First time I saw groups like the Flaming Lips, Wilco, Mercury Rev and Coldplay was on Later and the DVDs you can get of the show bear out what quality there was on the show. Anyway, I saw Dark Star on the show and was impressed by what I saw to go and buy their only release, a mini-album called Twenty Twenty Sound. It’s in interesting album as it shows this was a three piece band that could create a really bombastic sound, but do it with a bit of subtlety.

The opening track “Ninety-Six Days” opens with a squeal of feedback, but soon settles into a jazzy bass groove. “I Am The Sun” is a frantic change of pace that blew me away when I first heard it; the chorus sounds like it’s been blasted into space. “Vertigo” has some great bass fetting that sounds like DJ scratches which I just love the sound of. “Graceadelica” just has great sounds althroughout, from it’s shimmering guitar to the revved-up bursts of noises in the last chorus.

Pretty much the album shows off the tight rhythm section really well; the bass is deep and keeps the songs anchored. The drumming’s pretty special, I have to admit I tried to copy some of David Francolini’s fills when I was learning. My favourite track has to be “About 3AM”, a track that starts of quiet but burst into life with the chorus, the drums are frantic and the final bursts of guitar noise are classic to me. This is going to remain a little gem in my collection that few people have heard about, but frankly that just makes it all the more special.

Dark Star –  “I Am The Sun” & “About 3AM” live on Later.. With Jools Holland. Incredible, I thought I’d never see this footage after I accidentally taped over the video with this on it. All hail You Tube:


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