Kristin Kearns, vocalist for Nashville's Darling Parade, is not a happy girl. She's not happy with her ex-boyfriend, at the very least, and probably not happy with boys in general. Most of the songs on their debut full-length album, Battle Scars and Broken Hearts, seem to be her angst-burdened discourses about them. Where Chad Kroeger of Nickelback is a troubled misogynist, Kearns is a conflicted misanthrope. (Look up the words, if necessary.) Whereas Kroeger wants to see a girl with something in her mouth, Kearns might punch them in the mouth; good for her or not. This is possibly hyperbole as it's possible to read more of a double entendre in the songs, but the title of the album certainly fits the theme here.
Darling Parade:: Never Wrong (official).
Then again what guy wouldn't take one on the chin for a girl who can sing and looks quite attractive, like Kristen Kearns. She has a powerful and focused vocal style, perfectly suited for the mainstream alternative (not a contradiction in terms these days) melodic hard rock which Darling Parade creates. These creations have punch and accessibility, the kind that gets them played within the soundtrack for the latest network teen soap opera.
Best examples are When It's Over, Just Another, Coming Undone, Bad Habit, and the immensely infectious Messin' With Me. Through every song Darling Parade delivers the essentials: a good rock groove, melody, and crafty catchy hooks in both lyrics and arrangements. And it's not all big riffs, as it can be with similar bands, as Nate McCoy can actually deliver a decent guitar solo.
I'm sure many listening to the video above will find themselves visiting familiar territory, another female-fronted alt rock band, and say there's nothing new under the sun. They might be right. However, you can't dismiss Kearns' impressive vocal talent and the caliber of songwriting. Darling Parade has promise. Recommended.
Not another female-fronted alternative melodic hard rock band? Yes, and Darling Parade has a rather impressive vocalist in Kristen Kearns and some very good songwriting talent.
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