Darko – Bonsai Mammoth

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Punk music has been a staple of the rock scene for nearly 50 years, with the hardcore subgenre forming and coming into its own in the last 25. Now Darko have their own take to add with their album “Bonsai Mammoth.”

Hailing from Guildford in the United Kingdom, Darko are five guys with a mission to scream their lungs out and play some fierce guitar licks over some crashing drum beats. What they’re able to accomplish in an album just under 30 minutes is a sense of anger, but a sense of unity as well. Whenever Dan Smith’s vocals come screaming over the microphone you can tell he’s angry and vivacious, but when the backing vocals come in, like on the track “Life Forms,” there’s a feeling of brotherhood that’s impossible to ignore.

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While the majority of the album does feature loud guitars and vocals that make a megaphone sound quiet, the song “The Chernobyl Effect” is a small respite from it all. In just 35 seconds a simple guitar riff carries on a somber message of silence and stillness. The track being in the middle of the album is no coincidence; it’s almost as if Darko snuck in a message like “This could be us all someday” in the middle of a mosh pit. It’s a humbling riff and despite not sounding like anything else on the album, serves a great purpose.

With all that said, Darko delivers the punk and the attitude but you won’t feel like a teen full of angst listening to this album, instead you’ll get a sense of belonging because these guys are just as mad as you want to be.

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