4 out of 5
Darwin's God's debut release "Shoes For Fish" shows an already mature band, especially considering that this is their first CD. As far as the band's sound I hear classic to alternative rock influences, maybe a cross of Bon Jovi and Alice in Chains. On a first listen I was particularly impressed with the interplay between the bassist (John) and drums (Chris) - these guys were very tightly locked in and provided a great groove foundation for the sometimes simplistic and at other times eclectic or aggressive guitar sounds of DOM (lead guitars). Over this sonic landscape presides Hook's powerful vocal and a touch of steel string acoustic guitar. The production is impressive, especially considering that this is the band's debut album.
The CD consists of 10 songs and Darwin's God is not afraid to print the lyrics. I am simply captivated with the lyric writing on this CD, with an exception of "The River", which has so many cuss-words that it might even make a sailor blush. Apparently the band is aware that not everyone would enjoy hearing it and they reworked it in the form of a radio friendly version that is included at the end of the CD. The lyrics have a folksy, almost old school country reality that grabs the listener and doesn't let go. As far as the performances go - this is probably as good as it gets. Everything is flawless, but I am not really sold on the vocals as they seemed a touch raspy for this genre and better suited for slightly harsher material, say the likes of AC/DC. There is also the issue of the acoustic guitar on almost every song - there were places where it felt like it was killing the edge of the tune, which might not be a desirable element.
As far as songs go I was really into "Worn Out Tapes" - a tune about days gone by. Another favorite was the radio edit of "The River (Radio Edit)". Darwin's God is definitely a great sounding band that is trying to carve a niche for itself in a densely populated alt. rock market but with song-writing this good they should be able to pull it off!
Reviewed by: A. Dorian
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