Darlene Shrugg sounds like one of the singers from Phil Spector’s Christmas record, but it’s actually the work of Meg Remy, Max Turnbull, Simone TB, Carlyn Bezic and Amanda Crist. Remy is famously known as the Polaris Prize-nominated U.S. Girls, Turnbull as DFA Records’ Slim Twig, Bezic and Crist as electropop duo Ice Cream, and Simone TB as the drummer in as many bands as possible.
It’s as much a Canadian supergroup as Broken Social Scene or the New Pornographers, only way farther out there in creative realms where charts rarely tread. Their chemistry is lysergic, organic, and electric. They don’t take drugs; they are drugs.
With its title taken from a 1989 episode of Roseanne, the TV show from which the name Darlene is at least a partial reference, “Inherit the Wind” is the opening track on Darlene Shrugg’s eponymous debut album, out now on Upset the Rhythm. It is a statement. It kicks the door down with a signature Turnbull anvil rock riff and Simone’s slamming skins, creating a base for Remy’s parable about her journey from America to the Great White North, and, in doing so, the genesis of the band. The video, all done by Meg herself, cuts together the rawest live band footage this side of Black Banana with Eve being tempted in the garden of Eden and coming of age visuals seemingly dug from after-school specials made in the early ’60s.
This video will capture your attention, but it ain’t taking prisoners. Click play below, and get ready to have your guts kicked out.