(http://www.papergardenrecords.com/bands/darla_farmer/info) Darla Farmer – Rewiring The Electric Forest
(http://www.papergardenrecords.com/) Paper Garden Records
Quirky indie rock with folk and ska elements.
Darla Farmer’s sound is diverse, thanks to guitar, bass, drums, violin, keys, trombone, and trumpet. The players wielding instruments from that lengthy and varied list create quirky, poppy ska and folk-influenced melodies. When you add Clint Wilson’s occasionally creepy vocals on top, you end up with the demented carnival sound that is Darla Farmer.
Of the ten tracks put together, there are only three that are completely satisfying: “History,” “The Cow That Drank Too Much” and “Big Accident.” Every other song had some element that came off as irritating, which I feel to be the ska influence. “History” is definitely their strongest track, with an incredibly catchy chorus and hook that makes it a song to be listened to repeatedly. “The Cow That Drank Too Much” is less upbeat and speedy than their other songs, which is refreshing. The song also has a bittersweet tone with excellent backup vocals. Both “History” and “The Cow That Drank Too Much” can be described as epic, catchy pop masterpieces. “Big Accident” continues the trend heard on “History” with some really excellent trumpet riffs and singing.
Darla Farmer is a band that has mastered catchy pop melodies with unconventional instruments. They want to achieve indie rock that you can’t just label as a single genre, and they do that. While one must have to enjoy ska to completely enjoy the album, there are still universally-accessible songs that stand strong on their own. After listening to Rewiring the Electric Forest once, it is hard to comprehend what was just listened to. It is only after a few listens that one realizes the gimmick that Darla Farmer provides. But it’s a unique and fun one that should definitely be checked out by listeners who want something odd and different.
– Tim Wallen