Glasgow is absolutely abundant with bands, and all the better for it. Unfortunately, it poses a problem in that it proves to be quite difficult to stand out from the rest of the pack, but there is one such act who do not suffer from this – the oddities known as Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes.
We have been aware of this bunch for a while now and we had the utmost pleasure of witnessing them live at The Grand Ole Opry, and they were undoubtedly the most memorable of the night. Between then and now, they put out a full-length record titled Goo Goo Shoom, and it is certainly an interesting experience.
What we get to start is an utterly chilling intro in the form of a procession, amplified by the mix of piano keys and organ plus an aged recording sound that would not make it seem out of place in a silent horror film from several decades ago.
Don’t Talk To Me gives us our first showcase of frontman Joe’s harmonic stylings, where his outlandish charisma shines through the speakers. Lose It All is driven by a good bass line, after which we have Benny Lynch, a loving tribute to the Scottish boxing legend that is topped by a catchy beat and steadily builds to a grand finish.
The writing is the highlight of the maligning DWP, Complications has quite the groove, and Voodoo Blood and I’m Falling have some pleasing synths and guitar chords respectively; the latter unexpectedly taking off for a rampant ending.
The kooky lyrics of The Bible According To Joe Bone may not sit well with those of a religious and/or easily offended nature, but come on – “Jesus was born from a leprechaun” – how could you not love a line like that? Following that, they close out with the low-key Never Have I Been.
On the whole, an entertaining mishmash of songs. If there was one negative, it would be that the production and general mixing could have done with a little cleanup, but then again, The Dark Vibes are a group who are all about being raw and organic, so take that as you may, and at the end of the day, this is an album that assuredly improves in quality with each subsequent listen and leaves an impact.