Los Angeles five-piece Darker My Love takes their name from a song by the punk band TSOL, and one of their two vocalists used to be in the hardcore band the Nerve Agents, but that doesn’t tell you much about what Darker My Love sounds like. (And, in case you were wondering, Darker My Love doesn’t sound like I Love You but I’ve Chosen Darkness.)
When Darker My Love starts off their second album, 2, with a squall of feedback and a monstrous descending guitar riff, what it sounds like is a grunge band circa 1991. Then comes the next song, “Blue Day,” which sounds like a harder-rocking version of a Manchester baggy act circa 1989. After that it’s on to the Supergrass-meets–Jesus and Mary Chain sound of “Two Ways Out.” Elsewhere, Darker My Love delves into gentler ’60s psychedelia and some other recognizable sounds, but by the time you get to those parts of the album you’ve realized that it’s a mistake to play spot-the-influence with these guys.
Darker My Love knows that being a rock band in 2008 means taking bits and pieces from rock’s past and reassembling them into something that moves you. If you’re lucky, it will move your fans, too. Never mind the old questions of “Is it original?” or “Is it relevant?” The only question that matters now is “Do you like it?”
“Baby, you got me talking words/ Got me meaning less,” vocalists Tim Presley and Rob Barbato sing at one point. But they sing it against a fuzz guitar riff that’s so cool that you will be convinced that the whole concept of “meaning” is overrated.
DARKER MY LOVE, Casbah, Wednesday, December 17, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $10.