Monday, June 20, 2011

Daryll-Ann - Renko - 1992

Album debut by a promising band who had already introduced themselves to the Dutch independent music scene in 1991 via a small-scale EP release. Apparently they had a weak spot for the early-'80s police-story meets soap-opera Hill Street Blues, for the band's name was derived from one of the officers' girlfriends. One of Daryll-Ann's first songs was a similarly named homage to her, and for an appropriate title for their first album, they didn't need to look any further: hot-under-the-collar-cop Andy Renko himself was the logical choice. A fragment of dialogue between him and his girlfriend Daryll-Ann was used as an intro to one of the songs. Whereas neither of the personalities of the groundbreaking television series did represent "the perfect cop" -- from time to time their characters would stray and crimes weren't always solved -- likewise Daryll-Ann's Renko doesn't contain prime material all the way through the album. Made out mostly of carefree guitar pop, an underlying touch of melancholy didn't go unnoticed. Indeed, the combination gave rise to growing interest of U.K. record companies and music press. The members of Daryll-Ann knew each other from high school, where they started as a band by playing early Cure-covers. Recorded at an early stage in their career, Renko quite often results in a roller coaster ride of limitless enthusiasm. Contrary to the later comparisons with Buffalo Springfield, the sparkling debut has a more in common with the naïveté of the first albums of the dB's, the Only Ones, and '70s cult heroes Big Star. "Never Say Never" and "Pretty in Everything" perfectly fit this description, while other standout tracks "Mailman's Eyes" and the single "Into the Open" already hint at more accomplished albums that were to follow. What makes Daryll-Ann instantly likeable are their memorable hooks and the combined voices of the Paulusma twins. Compared to a lot of other Dutch guitar-based bands from the late '80s/early '90s, they make a less complicated impression. These are songs to joyously whistle along with, as if they strive to be the soundtrack to the annual spring cleaning. -AMG

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