DARKO are yet more proof that the scene is alive and well in the UK. The Guildford lads have put out a blinder of an EP that you’d be an absolute fool to miss out on. From the taunting screams of the fifteen-second intro to the abrupt and brutal close of title track From Trust To Conformity, this is a fifteen minute thrill ride like no other.
Opening track AWOL is fast and furious and instantly displays what’s really special about this EP. DARKO are not your typical hardcore band. Sure, everything’s played twice the speed of a normal song, there’s some brilliant growls and screams from Dan Smith but there’s also some ridiculous riffs. Chris Brown and Rob Piper’s guitars are completely and utterly relentless. AWOL itself sounds like somebody’s kidnapped Avenged Sevenfold and Fight Paris and forced them to work together until they create the perfect track. It dispenses with the typical breakdown, instead including a truly inspired instrumental part, where everything rings out clear.
DARKO are a band of many tastes though, and while they obviously have a very unique style that comes through in all their tracks, each track has a totally different feel to it. Neo Was An Amateur is fairly skate-punk in places, but with a hearty infusion of woah’s and pinch harmonics. The Smarter I Think I Am, The Dumber I Actually Am is reminiscent of No Trigger in its frenetic pace and posicore lyrics. It’s a total crowd pleaser in so many ways, with perfect singalong moments and a banging chorus, but it truly comes into its own in the solo, which is one of the coolest, most ass-kicking dual lead solos I’ve heard in a long time. Mindblowing. That’s not to say that the rest of the band isn’t as solid though – in Chewbacca Defence, Andy Borg’s drumming is so precise and so punctuating, giving the track an edge sharper than a samurai’s katana and Karl Sursham’s bass is just fantastic. Closing track From Trust To Conformity is simply a masterclass in how to end an EP. Melodic, aggressive and desperate, it drives the EP home, combining everything that was perfect about the release and ending with a chilling, droning closedown.
A very exciting addition to the UK hardcore scene, From Trust To Conformity is not to be missed. Blast it everywhere you can because these guys deserve to be huge.
4.5 out of 5 high fives!