Diarrhea Planet / Those Darlins - Live At Pickathon - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Diarrhea Planet / Those Darlins - Live At Pickathon

by Jeff Penczak Rating:6.5 Release Date:2015-04-29

Pickathon is an eco-friendly mini-Woodstock held over a summer weekend (usually the beginning of August) in Happy Valley, Oregon, with the Pendarvis family taking on Max Yasgur’s role of allowing a bunch of music lovers to invade their farm for a weekend of exciting, independent acts performing just about every type of music imaginable. Last year featured performances from over 50 international artists, including Unknown Mortal Orchestra, X, Nickel Creek, Jonathan Richman, Warpaint, Foxygen, and, uh, these two bands from Nashville.

With sets from that line-up to choose from, I’m not exactly sure why Pickathon would choose to kick off their live split 12in series (for Record Store Day) with these guys and gals, but then I guess that’s why I don’t run record labels. (It’s also entirely possible that most acts weren’t pleased with their sets or recordings and elected to pass on the opportunity.) Whatever the case, these two acts will give you an idea of the type of exciting, energetic Southern indie-rock making the rounds these days.

The former (sorry, I just can’t continue to type that ridiculous name anymore) deliver a blistering set of sweaty, guitar-driven punk with typically shouted/screamed vocals that my wife has christened 'vomitosis'. Driving the porcelain bus, calling for Ralph, doing the technicolour yawn… You get the, uh, picture.

The band sound like they’re having fun, the sound quality is suitably spit, chewing gum, and a tin can and a sloppy good time is guaranteed for all. Not sure I’d pull the rug out from all the festivities with the Spacemen 3-like downer ‘Kids’ in the middle of the set (too long, too boring), and most of the songs sound the same, but the crowd was probably too pissed to notice, and what we can hear of them during the singalong finale - well, at least they were polite for a bunch of millennials.

DP end their set (or at least their side of the record – I’m assuming these are abbreviated 'highlights' selected by the band and Pickathon organisers) with ‘Warm Ridin’ (I don’t even want to ask) and ‘Ghost With a Boner', so you know what you’re in for. But with a puerile name like DP, you weren’t expecting Nick Drake, were you?

Those Darlins’ are one of my fave raves of the last few years, so it’s great to finally hear an official live (half-)album – those YouTube videos hint at their live gigs, but sound and video quality are as shitty as, well, a planet of diarrhea. Girly garage-rock never sounded better (the tinny, distorted recording quality notwithstanding) than what Jessi, Nikki, and token dood Linwood have been brewing for the last decade. A stompin’ ‘Red Light Love’ whips the crowd into a frenzy, while ‘Sweetheart’ is sloppy backseat love with better playing than singing (they sound like they were having difficulty locating the microphones), but their trademark snappy beats and pogo-a-gogo energy is still intact.

They get psychedelic on us with the swampy wah-wah fest ‘Mystic Mind’ (uh, imagine Creedence crossed with The 13th Floor Elevators), and Jessie hurls her best Southern charm on the end-of-the-party strollin’, swaggering, slow-dance finale ‘That Man’. Oh, and what the fuck did he say to Mary Jane anyway that got Jessie all hot and bothered?!

So, not exactly one of their legendary Funstix parties (and I would have loved to have heard some of their acoustic interludes interspersed with the down ‘n dirty funky drunkies), but it’ll get the juices flowing on a hot August night with a couple dozen cold 40s on ice nearby.

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