I first (and seemingly last) encountered this St Albans quartet back in 2012 on the release of their ‘Tell Your Friends’ EP, which was cast in a mould shaped by Led Zeppelin and Queens of the Stone Age.
Dark Stares’ latest takes the same touchstones, but steers them in a slightly different direction to forge an album that simmers, smoulders and kicks. It starts promisingly enough with a stomping glammy riff and drums to match and there are hints of Royal Blood in the mix with the vibe of Led Zep cranked through a Queens of the Stone Age filter, but the vocals are a bit lacking in guts and the ‘baby baby’ lyrics are just a bit naff.
But… ‘The Lightning Echo’ is an alum that picks up quickly and sets into a sleaze groove that’s low-slung and slinky – when it’s not going all out with the grit. They bring some dingy darkness, in particularly on the bass-led murk of ‘The Shadows’.
They’re a little less impressive when they g indie-tinged and poppy, as on ‘Today’, but overall, ‘The Lightning Echo’ is a solid effort with some chunky riff-driven tunes and production that does them justice.