Derek and the Darling – Rock Face

Derek and the Darling
Rock Face
7 Trick Pony

Derek and the Darling manage to transcend not only genres, but mediums. The duo, comprised of Derek Nicoletto and Sammi Garett, met while performing with indie improv. troupe Upright Citizens Brigade. Likely, the reason it’s often difficult to decipher the irony/sincerity ratio of the songs found on their debut EP, Rock Face. Opening track “Hustler with a Rescue Plan” sounds along the lines of the synth pop number played during the climax of an 80s action movie (“oh-ooh-oh’s” and all) and “Lucky Lola” finds itself a little too close to the Justin Timberlake family. Whether the cheese was intentional, or a can of whiz exploded amidst the heat of their chemistry, its presence is undeniable. The three additional tracks, however, contain little to laugh about (hopefully that’s a good thing): “You” establishes Garett as a vocal vixen in the vain of Shirley Manson or Liz Phair, “Suddenly” is a brilliant gem of indie pop, and “Alabaster Sky” is a ballad that is equal parts Depeche Mode and Broadway musical. Izzy Cihak