Are You Real [Explicit Content]
Beware of Darkness is a bold new power band with an old soul, pissed at life in the modern age. They are ready to frighten your children, sleep with your daughters, and make you shake, scream, and contort like it's a Depression-era, Southern exorcism. They play fast moving rock songs with exploding key and rhythm changes mid-song. They also play slow-cooked, sexed-up, bluesy things. Imagine Bowie's Hunky Dory with low, detuned, primal, Zeppelin-esqe guitar riffs. It's clear from the opening squeal of "Muthaf***a" on the band's sophomore album Are You Real? that Beware of Darkness is on the up-and-up, and riding high on new wings while holding down that which endeared fans in the first place. That song's process - written by pairing a Tempest drum machine beat with a raw riff and bass line built from the bottom-end up - was a blueprint for much of the album, and finds frontman Kyle Nicolaides at his absolute peak. Elsewhere, tracks pulse and rage while soaring and chiming; all is perhaps a little less sinister this time around. Where earlier Beware of Darkness material may have fallen more on the side of leather and metal, these songs hearken to the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood, The Struts, Wolf Alice, Cage the Elephant, Skaters, even Nirvana. Songs like "Dope," "Summerdaze," and "Sugar in the Raw" show their subtle hip-hop influence, and in fact the trio was co-written swiftly with the female hip-hop producer Trinity, a collaboration Nicolaides says was truly magic and inspiring.