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Single review: Dark Blues – 'Subterranean Man'

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Dark Blue – “Subterranean Man” (Katorga Works)


Dark Blue is the next step in the evolution of John Sharkey III. His first salvo was the aggressive noise rock his band Clockcleaner, a band whose sound was abrasive and pummeling. Then came Puerto Rico Flowers, where he abandoned guitars and screaming in favor of eighties synth and baritone crooning. Still present in Dark Blue is his Ian Curtis man crush style of vocals but the guitars have returned in a big bad way.

The band's debut single is “Subterranean Man” and the title track's bassline and vocals are as down and dirty as the name suggests. There's also a bit of gritty solo Iggy Pop in there along with some Clockcleaner bizarro time signature and punch. One hundred and thirty-seven seconds of glorious grime.

The b-side, “Skinhead Wedding in Canberra”, is an even more superior track. The rhythm guitar returns to its metal grinding tone but played in a more traditional pop song structure than “Subterranean Man”. Like in Puerto Rico Flowers' best tracks, there is an instant sing-along appeal, especially in the chorus. This is maybe the best song Sharkey has come up with to-date.

John Sharkey has combined his previous two bands into an updated, loud early Joy Division or Warsaw. This single is positively addicting, a must-listen. "Subterranean Man" is available for download now through Bandcamp and iTunes. 7" is coming soon from Katorga Works.