Album Review: Deany Darko – Satirical Spa

Deany Darko
Posted on: April 16th, 2014

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Rude Boy is the opening track off the new album, Satirical Spa by local Ska Punk artist Deany Darko and whilst on first listen it comes across as a great tune to pogo around to at any party, on repeated listen it reveals many more layers, as Shrek would say “like an onion”.  The baseline comes through like a carnival organ and the singing has a haunting quality that lets you know that this album is going to be something a bit more than the average.

Over the next few tracks it becomes obvious that we’re on a journey with Deany Darko, there seems to be a lot of dark subject matter being set against some wonderfully upbeat and great sing-a-long choruses.  You’ll have trouble getting the “Cossack, Cossack lots of cossack” chorus of Tremendous Trevor out of your head.

Psycho Ward 12 tackles head on the very basis of the album -

“In the summer of 2013 Deany found himself suffering a mental breakdown and losing all hope in life. It was during a stay in hospital (The Satirical Spa) that Deany started scribbling down some lyrics and upon his release he disappeared into the studio. This is the result.”

This inner monologue is set against a backing track that sounds like a long lost recording by “The Specials” as Deany addresses his situation and tries to make sense of it. Titular track Satirical Spa, a direct reference to where many of the lyrics for the album were written, recasts his surroundings as a kind of crap holiday camp with slightly menacing and at the same time cheeky riffs permeating throughout to give the track a freak show like ambiance.

Whilst this is an album is based in real life experiences, it’s easy to see that Deany has put his own, distinctly Northern Irish humour to it. Think Urban Voodoo Machine meets Black Sookie. The album finishes with Lovin’ That Girl Tonight an ode to a lost love that we can all relate to. There’s a great guitar solo, then the organist comes through with a wee solo that would make DJ Shadow envious and before we know it the album is done.

I feel this is an album with 2 sides, you can stick it on at a party and have a great old knees up, a sing- along and generally party out and enjoy the music.  You can also give it a few spins and hear more on every listen.  The production of the album too, it has to be said, is second to none.  A recording that sounds great from the smallest set of head phones to the biggest speaker in your living room.  In the blurb for the album, it’s finished off by saying -

“I hope in some small way this album may be able to give hope to those who feel lost. There’s always hope.” Deany x”

I would say that for those that are looking for it, that’s a mission accomplished. The album is available to buy on Bandcamp right here.  Deany Darko has a gig coming up on Easter Sunday at Voodoo, we’ll be there to check out what this sounds like live!

Deany Gig

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Author Info

Sir Christopher J Caldwell. I enjoy wrestling, films and nautical adventure. I've just finished making a short film. I also DJ sometimes. You'll usually see me out and about eating or drinking, sometimes even both. I have written for The Big List, and I currently also write for BBC Across The Line.

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