For whatever reason whenever I hear music described as “beer-soaked,” I am automatically intrigued. Putting aside for a moment what that says about me, this means that I was predisposed to enjoy Warma from the moment I read the promotional blurb on the album cover. I would be lying if I told you that my instinct was completely wrong, because truth be told, this is an enjoyable little piece of pop-punk. However, it is enjoyable in a very sort of beer-soaked, closing time at a seedy-but-somehow-cool bar, danceable-background-noise kind of way, as opposed to being enjoyable to listen to attentively and/or sober.
This is primarily because there is literally not one original thought in the five songs comprising this EP. There is nothing unpleasant about the omnipresent catchy guitar riffs, but you just can’t shake the feeling that you’ve heard every one before. One redeeming quality of the album is the combination of the male and female vocal leads, however The Darlings’ use of this style seems to split the difference between the alluring minimalism of the Moldy Peaches and the infectious energy of Los Campesinos, giving it an almost dull tone at times.
My final grievance I feel I must air is their excessive-bordering-on-obsessive use of the sing-songy “ooh, ooh, ooh” interlude, as if they couldn’t write enough verses for a 15-minute EP, but I want to emphasize that these criticisms are not meant as a condemnation of this EP. While I will not use the words innovative, groundbreaking, or visionary to describe The Darlings at this stage in their careers, Warma is most definitely a light, fun, toe-tapping piece that certainly deserves a spot at any party and on any long car ride.
– Mike Taintor, host of Transatlantic Waffles, Tuesdays 11am-12pm.