Darwin Deez, 'Darwin Deez' (Lucky Number)

Critical Mass

by Barry Walters

Working the geek chic as hard as his GarageBand presets, this Myrtle Beach-born, U.K.-hyped quirkster is the rare bedroom rocker with sophisticated songwriting skills. Pairing singalong pop to anxious Strokes/Phoenix grooves, he deadpans downbeat love lyrics with wry punch lines. In "The Bomb Song," he endures nuclear war to endear himself to an estranged girlfriend: "The hair on my head came out...Say you love me now." Every sweetly conflicted track sounds almost exactly the same, but his perverse playfulness makes that limitation almost feel like liberation.

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