REVIEW: Strange Weather, Wilfully Obscure

April 28, 2016 | Spavid

I don't often listen to instrumental rock, but when I do. I listen to Deardarkhead. Unlike most contingents in the Saint Marie stable, this trio isn't exactly oven fresh, as its first iteration had their antecedents back to the Bush-era (and I'm not referring to "W"). Minted in Atlantic City in 1988 Deardarkhead originally had a microphone fiend in their lineup, one Michael Amper, who commandeered the band through a series of demos and short-form releases before taking a break in the mid '90s, and resurfacing with their first full length in 1998. Another hiatus ensued, but when DDH resumed in 2009, Amper opted to excuse himself. In a nutshell, they carried on sans vocalist and emerged with a new EP this year, Strange Weather. Guitar slinger Kevin Harrington sounds like he's lived in the distortion pedals of Marty Wilson Piper, Billy Duffy (The Cult) and John Ashton (Psych Furs) as he doles out spindles of echoing lines that arpeggio and recoil into heady, robust swirls that always manage to make a smooth descent back to Earth.  "Juxta Mare" works the most magic for me, and though I'd be open for more variety on a DDH follow-up, Strange Weather's allure is downright invigorating.