Died Pretty + Scientists = Darling Downs




Peno and Salmon team
up for country-folk project.

Fred Mills


Quick: what do the band names Died Pretty and Scientists
mean to you? If you thought “two of the most visionary, kickass Australian
bands of the eighties,” go to the head of the class. In recent years the two
bands’ frontmen, the DP’s Ron Peno and the Scientists Kim Salmon (also of
Beasts of Bourbon, Antenna, Salmon and Surrealists fame) have teamed up on
occasion as a duo, The Darling Downs, and now their second full length, From One To Another is en route via
Carrot Top on Oct. 14. (It was issued back in January in Australia.)
Their previous effort was 2005’s How Can
I Forget This Heart Of Mine



It’s basically just Salmon on acoustic guitar and Peno on
vocals, touching down in folk and alt-country territory — a far cry from the
Died Pretty’s cinematic psychedelia and the Scientist’s swampy thug-punk — that
the label describes as “an endearing
love letter to American country folk
… a subtle masterpiece that unfolds
like a dahlia with each successive spin, giving the listener something new and
unexpected at every helping.”



Or, as Terrascope put it, “What stays with the
listener is a ghostly afterimage that plays on the heart like headlight patterns
on a bedroom wall at 3AM, and an inexplicable but not unpleasant sense of
yearning and loss. It’s a desolate, masterful work by two artists who have
nothing to prove, and nothing to lose.” Elsewhere, Beat Magazine enthused, “There are plenty of bands around at the moment paying homage to
the proto-country rock sounds of The Band, The Byrds and Gram Parsons; only a
trivial amount of them can claim to approach the Darling Downs’ idiosyncratic
perspective on the country genre.”



Fans of both men’s
projects will find plenty to cheer, we think. Call it BLURT-approved — in
advance. You can check out some of the tunes at the Darling Downs MySpace site.



Meanwhile, dig this
freaky video for “Circa ‘65” which Peno and Salmon call “
‘countripolitan’ song filmed in a neo-cubist style.” Yup. They got that right.
Aw hell, while we’re at it, let’s look at a classic Died Pretty vid (for “Winterland”)
followed by a Scientists clip (of their timeless “Swampland”) too!



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