Rock n’ Roll, real Rock n’ Roll mind you, is not ‘nice’. It doesn’t wait its turn and it certainly doesn’t ask for permission. It announces itself bluntly, roars loudly, and takes no prisoners. The tricky thing is, however, that real Rock n’ Roll is almost impossible to find nowadays. It’s a diamond in the rough; the Waldo in ‘Where’s Waldo?’. Rare, however, does not mean forgotten. Look closely and you can still find a select few keeping the traditions of old alive – like Spain’s own Alison Darwin for example.
Alison Darwin’s ‘sound’, is a melding of present-day indie-rock, fleshed with a heavy helping of Seattle Grunge. It pushes the boundaries of conventional rock music, while simultaneously staying true to its roots. Like many of the great rock trios of old; Alison Darwin’s foundation is built on the ‘backline’. The band’s musicianship and clear understanding of the complexities of instrumentation are just one of the many things that make ‘Your Name’ so memorable. It’s a technical and complementary indie-rock anthem; one which dispels and critiques societal ‘norms’ from a powerful female’s perspective.
But of all the elements that help to create this anthemic ‘ode to the underdog’, it’s the production value that truly sets Alison Darwin apart. There’s no bleeding of the tracks; absolutely nothing is in competition with one another. The mix itself is a perfect balance; highlighting each band member’s musical ability and treating them as equal parts that comprise the whole. There is no hierarchy. No stroking of egos. Nothing more than just 3 people sharing a common goal and a common understanding of what constitutes a truly unforgettable rock song.
Alison Darwin is the next in line to carry the torch; a fire lit by the great female heroines of 90s rock. I’m talking about artists like Shirley Manson, Gwen Stefani (back when she was still just the singer of No Doubt), and Alanis Morissette. These great women of my musical era defied convention; they spat in the face of what was considered ‘acceptable’ or marketable behavior. Alison Darwin has the makings to be just as important and equally impactful. But putting the politics of music aside; at its core ‘Your Name’ is simply a great rock n’ roll tune. One which should be celebrated and praised.
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Listen to Alison Darwin on our New Rock 2020 playlist!