Monday, September 10, 2012

The Darcys Do Aja

In a strange twist of musicality, The Darcys have pulled one out of their collective hat and done something not usually done; they've taken an album, totally reinterpreted it, and essentially made it something different and unique to them. So what album did they do this to? Why no less than one of the most famous classic rock albums of all time...Aja. I know what you're thinking. "How could they? Why would they?" Well as it turns out the band had kind of hit a wall while trying to record their sophomore album and that's when the idea sprung to mind. As the band says it, "We did it because we could and because we thought we couldn't."

So while this might be sacrilegious to some Aja is about as far away from the Steely Dan version as possible. It's so far away in fact that Aja is about the closest thing to a dream that I've ever heard. The Darcys have reshaped the entire record as if they were drifting on willowy riffs seemingly created in a cloud and with vocals that seem as they were sung under hypnosis. If ever a record was strung out in heaven this would be it.

Fusing math rock technicality, dream post shoegazing ideals, and versions that seem to meander without any real similarity to the originals about them this whole thing sounds like a tolerable Radiohead album. The Darcys truly have made Aja their own here and while they may have been unsure that they could pull it off, I think by about the fourth or fifth song it becomes clear that they have. Sure the stuff is atmospheric and lost in a sea of post-rock but the melodies are still the same even if they’re lost amongst the swirls of guitar interplay. This is a mesmerizing effort that had someone not told you this was an entire album of covers you may never have known.

The Darcys are brave. The Darcys are good. When you combine those two factors with a legendary record something magical or tragic is going to happen. Thankfully, magic occurred and they renewed Aja's legendary status for another generation. One can't help but listen to this record and it's re-interpretation's and wonder if Steely Dan has hear them and if they have what they think of them?

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