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Darktown Jubilee - The World, the Flesh and the Devil

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 9 / 3 / 2013

Darktown Jubilee - The World, the Flesh and the Devil
Label: Parade Recordings
Format: CD


Anthemic yet dark debut album from Manchester-based band Darktown Jubilee, which recalls the early Killers

So, do you remember when the Killers were good? You know the time. Just around their first two albums, 'Hot Fuss' and the brilliant 'Sam's Town', and then they spoilt it all by going all weird? Well, and I kid you not, those times are about to be continued, my friends! As soon as you download or buy yourselves a copy of the new album 'The World, the Flesh and the Devil', from that most infectious of Manchester-based indie-rock bands, Darktown Jubilee. "Oh come off it!" I hear you cry. But trust me on this one. If Darktown jubilee don't become massive, I'll eat my 'Day and Age' T- shirt. Formed in 2010 Darktown Jubilee have quickly built up a growing reputation with David Boardman (vocals and guitar), Stuart Day (bass), John Cosgrove (drums), Al Roberts (lead guitar) and Gary O’Brien (keyboards), firing on all cylinders along to the influences of the likes of the National, Arcade Fire, Death Cab For Cutie, the Maccabees, Merry Hell, Sealife, Signal Aurora, I am Kloot, Bruce Springsteen, U2, the Doors, Tom Waits, Pete Yorn, Ryan Adams, Snow Patrol, the Killers, Suede, the Stone Roses, Jesse Malin, Foo Fighters, Crowded House... It is not hard to spot when you check out the cover and booklet hiding inside the CD version that singer/songwriter David Boardman is the creative driving force of the band. The highly-regarded frontman has been writing since his teens. It has paid dividends too, and you only need to catch a few lyrics from this slab of wonderment to see revealed a thoughtful, expressive and confident writer. Exploring the darker side of our human psyche is not easy and has been miserably done by a few bands, but he believes he has at last stumbled across the perfect excuse to unleash this collection of anthemic songs to the world. He has honed his craft in previous bands, taking the role of lead guitarist and songwriter, but this present format has given him the impetus to move to the front of the stage as lead singer and enabling him to showcase his vocal talents. Recorded over a few weeks in the North West of England, their debut album, 'The World, the Flesh and the Devil', released on the band's own Parade Recordings, finds them taking a hands-on role with the production and arrangements alongside long time collaborator and producer John Kettle. As well as the many influences I've pointed at earlier, they have tried to keep a foot in the local tradition as well by remaining in their native Manchester. The first track on 'The World, the Flesh and the Devil' is also the band's first single ‘Breakdown’, and is a powerful, driving, guitar-led U2 type of number that balks at the ills of the present climate in the country. Then we come to the jewel in the jewel case. Darktown Jubilee’s second single ‘Stay’ was released on the 18th February 2013. This is a moment the world hopefully will never forget! I certainly won't, because I put it in the car CD player for a quick listen, as you do, and it's been there ever since. I tell a little lie there. I have loaded it on my laptop too and then onto my iPod so I can blast it out all over the house as well. When they were young and still good, the Killers only had one flaw for me, and that was that they were a little lyrically short in places. It is not hard to realise when you give Darktown Jubilee a listen that they actually have something to say. As with the Killers, their sound is melodic and catchy as hell but unlike them there is clearly something deeper bubbling away like a volcano ready to erupt. The slower 'Great Escape' glances hopefully at the future, while 'All I Want' is Boardman's reflection on a lesson he should of learnt but didn't (We've all been there). 'Give Me a Sign' is another slower but mesmerically anthemic tune, which leads to what for me could easily be a third single, 'Stop, Look Around'. Now if this doesn't put the hairs on yours arms up, then you're dead from the ears inward. Other highlights are the choral start to 'Beautiful Night', the Snow Patrol-esque 'Lost' and 'Something's Gotta Give', and the final track and Two Door Cinema soundalike, 'We'll Take This Town'. It is hard to find an album where you like every track on it. This is one of those records. Out of all the music you buy this year, this one will rise from the volcanic fire like a phoenix, and take flight for a long. long time.

Track Listing:-
1 Breakdown
2 Stay
3 The Great Escape
4 All I Want
5 Give Me a Sign
6 Stop! Look Around
7 When You're Wrong
8 Beautiful Night
9 Lost
10 Something's Gotta Give
11 We'll Take This Town Together

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