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The darling buds show progress with their second album


The darling buds

On Columbia Records


ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE had little impact in England, the darling buds have caused quite a stir here in the States. Their second album, crawdaddy, with singles "crystal clear," "tiny machine" and "it makes no difference," has garnered considerable success, showcasing their particular brand of cloying light pop music.

The young band attributes their newfound success to past experiences. Guitarist Harley Farr explained in a recent interview on a New York radio station, "After recording the first album, we sort of saw the mistakes that we'd made. We knew what we wanted to do. With the first album, it was all drum machine. The drums were put down, and then Chris would put the bass down, and then I'd go in and I'd record my guitar through a Walkman and all the guitar sounds were exactly the same, and then Andrea would sing the vocals, so everything was sort of too det det det det det det. . . .

"There was no feeling, no emotion. It was all done very quickly, and we thought when we come to record the next album, we'd try to take a better time out. For start, we'd play it live, because we're basically a live band, and we'd try to get more emotion, we'll use some more variation on the instruments, and things like that. In a way, it was a progression. I wouldn't call it maturity, just a progression. I suppose, yeah, if we did the second album exactly the same, we would have died."

Indeed, from the beginning guitar riffs of "it makes no difference " to the last verse of "the end of the beginning," this is a well-executed album. It is complete in the sense that the band succeeded in what they set out to do. However, there could have been more exploration. They sound like the Primitives.

"crystal clear," "it makes no difference," and "honeysuckle" deserve attention. "so close" carefully avoids the seraphic birdsong arias that have plagued other female vocalists (witness Lush); instead, it is tender and touching, full of emotion. The only slight disappointment is "you won't make me die," which begins to waver in the direction of inspiring drivel `a la Tiffany, but even that isn't so frightful. The other songs on the album are also worth noting.

With such a welcome start, no doubt the darling buds will continue to progress to bigger and brighter avenues.