Singer and virtuoso guitarist Daniel Leopold and his band return with an album that balances both garage and stadium-sized rock
For Detroit-born rocker Daniel Leopold, references to The White Stripes are somewhat inevitable. It’s a comparison that he tackles head on with his band’s fourth album, Darling Destroyer, but despite his efforts to pay homage to the music of his hometown, the record has a swagger and ambition more akin to Aerosmith in their 90s giant days.
It’s Leopold, in the role of both Tyler and Perry, who manages to keep the music well on the right side of parody. He’s a magnetic frontman, as proven on I’m Caving In and Better Off Alone, swaying blues ballads that recapture some of the charm of Crazy and Crying. Welcome shade is provided by the alluring nostalgia of Ride.
Tracks like It’s How I Feel (Free) and Waves (Golden), complete with its Seven Nation Army rhythm, are slightly more rooted in the garage and Saturday, at the centre of the album, is something of a meeting place, the sound of a stadium band practising in their old basement. But If You Gotta Go, Go Now is a super-charged number which leaves you in no doubt that this band are prepared to get sweaty in the name of rock ‘n’ roll and that Leopold And His Fiction are at their best when bombastic and unfiltered.
Verdict: Detroit tackles hard rock