Dark Blue: Pure Reality 12"
After a couple of relatively low-profile 7" releases, here's the debut LP from Dark Blue, the new-ish band featuring John Sharkey of Puerto Rico Flowers, Clockcleaner, and numerous other bands. From the beginning, the name of the game with Dark Blue has been oi!/pop, which I take to mean that they're inspired by Second Empire Justice, the formerly-controversial, now-canonical second Blitz LP. I'm not really sure if that was the band's expressed intent or just some description I'd read somewhere, but I'd say there isn't really much oi! to be found here, but instead a kind of 80s-style New Romantic pop. It is a lot more upbeat and fun than Puerto Rico Flowers, and at their best Dark Blue remind me a lot of the early Chameleons stuff collected on the (freaking amazing) The Fan and the Bellows LP. So yeah, it definitely has a kind of "post-punk" vibe, but it's poppy, fun, and almost sunny in a way... I have to admit that I wasn't really sold on the 7"s, but I'm really enjoying this LP, and if you're a fan of the Chameleons / Echo and the Bunnymen / later Siouxsie type of poppy post-punk sound I imagine you will be as well.