28 Oct 2016
The Tyde - Darren 4
Reviewed by Shaun C. Rogan
The Tyde returns after a ten year hiatus!
Ahhhh, that cool Sierra Nevada breeze at dusk after a long day baking in the sun is exactly where I am presently residing psychically thanks to this splendid reminder of the song writing chops of Darren Rademaker (also of Beachwood Sparks). I got my bottle of Anchor Steam, a Marlboro Light in my hand and Zuma Beach is just on the horizon, waves gently shimmering in the early evening surf. I am in a reverie created by a songsmith at the top of his game.
Opener "Nice To Know You" kicks things off in splendour. Its a bright, driving opener with Rademakers vocals reminding me of a countrified less uptight Tom Verlaine (not a bad thing at all in this persons view) motoring on a sweet riff that breaks down half way through into a nice half speed outro that just satisfies real well. "Ode To Islands" ups the ante considerably with a sweeter than sweet chiming guitar that shimmers and modulates all over the 'so in love' celebratory refrains from our main man, though you can't be sure if the celebration is of what is or what should never be. You cannot fail but to love this kind of approach to song writing, its impossible cos it rules. "The Rights" is a beautiful trawl up Highway 5 with a few roadhouse pit stops, its sophisticated and gently circular riffing and rhinestoned guitar stabs taking the listener off into the blue on its extended coda. It features the best guitar solo on the record (of which there are quite a few). Can someone get me a Marguerita now and give me a quarter for the phone?
"The Curse in Reverse" features some very tasteful guitar work (and vocals) from limey guitar slinger par excellence Bernard Butler - his distinct, Neil Young flavoured modulated and wailing runs adding a further dash of colour and verve to what is a regretful and cautionary tale of miscommunication and dysfunction. It's probably the darkest point on a record where melancholy is never far from home but generally is worn with a measure of understanding and good humour that comes with the realisation that we are all only here a short while so its probably best to enjoy the experience even when the cards don't fall your way.
"Rainbow Boogie" is a bittersweet romp through open fields of country fried riffage underpinned by suitably galloping and teetering drums propelling matters along very nicely indeed. This is thinking drinking music and provides a great fun-filled taxi ride to our next reflective moment provided by the truly gorgeous "Situations", which I think is the most confessional moment on the record. It's one of those great songs that manages to be both torch song and valedictory farewell to a special someone. It is also possibly the sweetest song to ever repeatedly feature the word 'motherfucker' in the history of recorded music. Believe. It shimmers and shines in a reflective pool of melancholy that is just irresistable. If 'Darren 4' reaches its, surely intended, perfect state of grace it is during this wonderful song. You involuntarily exhale deeply at its conclusion even after listening to it a dozen times or more (I lost count).
Matters are brought to suitably longing and only partially resolved close by the "It's Not Gossip If Its True". We are truly in cosmic country territory at this point, all swooping pedal steel replete with sumptuously spectral backing vocals and I am left desperately looking for a scotch and soda to accompany me on a return trip as I immediately want to play this record again and luxuriate in its beautifully executed and deeply soulful cosmic Americana.
So there you have it, The Tyde made you wait a decade but it was worth it. Get high with them and remember that in their company, even if you cant always get what you want, your glass is always half full not half empty....
Available here (UK/EU) or here (US).