Home Read Albums Of The Week: The Darts | Snake Oil

Albums Of The Week: The Darts | Snake Oil

The Arizona garage-rock queens hit the bullseye again with their smoking fourth LP.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “At last! The Darts return from their Bat Cave / Covid lair with Snake Oil — by far their best album to date. Snake Oil is their most accomplished full-length recording to date, with a much fuller sound than any Darts disc before — courtesy of their longtime collaborator Bob Hoag and some remote control co-production wizardry from Jello Biafra himself.

Featuring the return of Nicole Laurnne on vocals, Farfisa and Hammond organs, Christina Nunez on bass and vocals, and Meliza Jackson on guitars and vocals, Snake Oil also marks the debut of new drummer Mary Rose Gonzales. The result? Snake Oil comes out smoking as if this band has been in a pressure cooker throughout the pandemic. Expect the wider sound and sparkle of Nicole and Cristina’s previous band The Love Me Nots (also recorded by the brilliant Bob Hoag) but with way more raunch. And Nicole’s voice has never sounded better. Snake Oil is for fans of agile, sultry vocals and beefy vintage rhythm sections paired with razor-tone guitars. This Snake Oil was concocted to remedy the most unaffected and stiff-legged garage rockers out there!

“The Darts formed in 2016 with the goal of making great all-girl garage-rock noise, see the world, and have a fab slumber party every night,” they say. “We threw on some vintage black slips, threw off our shoes, and set out on the adventure.

“In the first six months, we put out two self-produced EPs. In the first year, Dirty Water Records in the U.K. put out our first full-length vinyl release Me.Ow. We headed to Europe a bunch of times and never wanted to come home. But when we did, Dirty Water re-released the first two EPs as a second full-length vinyl, The Darts and we toured all over the U.S. a bunch of times, with great bands like Australia’s The Living End and Billie Joe Armstrong’s The Longshot — and, once again, never wanted to come home.

“Our idols started noticing, including author Stephen King, actors Drew Carey and Fred Armisen, and punk legends Jello Biafra and Blag Dahlia, sometimes even coming to shows and getting on stage with us. Two years into the project, we were on bigger European stages with acts like Turbonegro, Flaming Lips and The Dead Kennedys. In 2018, Jello Biafra signed the band to his label Alternative Tentacles and released the third full-length record, I Like You But Not Like That. We then embarked on an unforgettable coast-to-coast US tour with our heroes The Damned. We found ourselves performing with bands like Rancid and L7, had songs placed on top TV shows like Peaky Blinders, got thrilling reviews, and then the pandemic hit.

“But even then, things didn’t stop. We played Punk Rock Bowling 2022, made our debut at Seattle’s uber-hip Freakout Fest, and recorded a new 7″. By summer of 2022, we toured all over the U.S. again, did a KEXP Session, and finished recording our new full-length record (funded entirely by fans). Work is already beginning on the next record. See you out there.”