Dark Dark Darkâ€™s latest effort, Who Needs Who, plays precisely as its title reads. A tangled, static, and struggling 10-track package, the disc is sticky with nostalgia, with want for a love long lost. It yearns for the ache of Adeleâ€™s 21 and angst of Alanis Morissetteâ€™s Jagged Little Pill, but canâ€™t rise above its personal and musical fog.
The title track builds for the set a piano-driven and somber impression. Vocalist Nona Marie Invie quickly laments, â€œOh, I have the memory of trust/â€¦I swallow it whole.â€ Invieâ€™s smooth vocals recall Carly Simon, Carole King, and Sara Bareilles, but they swiftly belie with the groupâ€™s broken record approach. â€œTell Me,â€ the second track, begs for a new perspective. She sings, â€œI want to live in the time when you cherished me.â€ The borrowed beats of â€œLast Time I Saw Joe,â€ aimless wandering of â€œWithout You,â€ and fragmented feel of â€œMeet in the Darkâ€ continue this much-too-tried trend.
Dark Dark Dark, though, briefly brings in some light. â€œHow It Went Downâ€ tackles the same sparse subject, but lets the vocals lead. Beautiful, haunting, and yearning, the track shows listeners what Dark Dark Dark might have beenâ€”and, might still be. It suggests for the group a promising future. But, for now, the last track sums up Who Needs Who quite well: â€œThe greatest mistake was mine.â€
Who Needs Who is available now through Supply & Demand Music.