UK veterans Darko return with SPARKLE, a genre-defying EP showcasing classic Darko vibes mixed with some new twists and turns. It’s also the quintet’s first release featuring new frontman, Tom West, previously of Almeida.
SPARKLE will be available digitally, on 4-panel wallet CD and colored 12″ vinyl EP cut at 45 RPM.
DARKO has pulled few punches since West – previously of Almeida – was unveiled as the band’s new vocalist, replacing Dan Smith who fronted the band from 2010 to 2020. Recently the band has made headlines for calling for a cull of misogynists within the punk rock community in ‘The Ladder’, and a misanthropic attack on selfishness in COVID-era Britain in ‘AUX’.
Over a raucous decade, DARKO have by definition, become veterans of the UK Punk scene and it is not uncommon to see them standing as an essential name within the intricate and complex world of contemporary Punk and Hardcore.
The band, urgent and charged with conviction, are set to continue championing and contributing to the health of the very scene that birthed them as they pen the narrative of their new chapter.
In 2020, longtime voicebox Dan Smith returned to his native Australia and parted ways with the band after so long in the vox seat. Dan’s evocative, emphatic and emotional lyricisms have left quite the legacy throughout the band’s releases. Darko’s four other noisemakers have curated a backdrop of vicious, hybridised Skate Punk and Melodic Hardcore that has been pushed beyond itself across thirty countries.
Darko have now enlisted longtime touring compadre Tom West of UK shredders, Almeida. The band have never hid from what ails them or the society they inhabit but with West at the vocal helm now and forgoing the complacent societal padding forced upon us all, his lyrical discomfort has spurred the band’s most unbarred barrage yet. There is nothing hidden here, nothing soaked in distracted metaphor or softened non-confrontational rhetoric, Darko are making full use of their scene privilege and challenging people who look akin to them to unleash their own salvos. But what of the backing? These are stops that have also been beyond pulled.
Darko’s evolution is tied to their past but with threads so long that there is an abundance of slack to play with. Notes of Polar Bear Club, Mastodon, A Wilhelm Scream, Protest The Hero, Rise Against and Propagandhi can all be savoured in their contemporary flavour profile. Serrated, lacerating Thrash and metallic digressions contrast the meandering guitar lines rooted in Skate Punk classicism. Writhing, emotive and complicated Post-Hardcore structures supplement the “techy” displays they are known for as an overarching and indisputably Punk-charged Prog-aesthetic allows the versatile and varied vocal range to seamlessly traverse the entirety.
Rob, Chris, Karl, Andy and now Tom have come together to the highest degree, poised and proud to show you a reimagined, powerful and determined Darko.