From One To Another
The Darling Downs stand out as the most unlikely of collaborations between longtime members of the fertile Australian rock scene. While it is not at all insane to imagine the driving force behind SCIENTISTS, BEASTS OF BOURBON & SURREALISTS, KIM SALMON, working with DIED PRETTY\'s energetic frontman and songwriter RON PENO, the improbable happens when you consider the result that might flow from such a teaming. What are the odds that these two towering figures of Australian music, famous for swaggering, noisy, swampy punk rock (Salmon) & soaring pop rock (Peno) would concoct such a perfect love letter to American country folk? Armed only with Kim Salmon\'s custom Cole Clark acoustic guitar and Peno\'s singular voice & vision, The Darling Downs crafted an almost impossible album: a record of nuanced beauty, a subtle masterpiece that unfolds like a dahlia with each successive spin, giving the listener something new & unexpected at every helping. All from two guys & one pristine guitar. At times Peno channels the spirit of Appalachian folk\'s high lonesome sound, complete with yips, yelps & howls, while elsewhere his (improvised?!) vocals are hypnotically understated, almost delicate--threatening to disappear into thin air before crashing down like thunder. Supporting Peno\'s acrobatic vocal brilliance is Salmon\'s equally understated, elegant guitar playing, perhaps the most restrained of his career, made all the more stunning when you know the fireworks & growl of which he is capable & for which he is famous. Salmon showcases not only his versatility but playing of such surprisingly refined grace that it defines the album as one of the best listens of 2006. An album of profound subtlety.
\"With Salmon often infusing the guitar lines with deft lilts & melodies, grasping each song is sometimes as difficult as interpreting a smoke signal in a storm, the ever-shifting qualities of the music making it difficult to categorize. The experience mesmerizes.\" - The Age