Saturday 20th October 2018,

ALBUM REVIEW | Darling Waste – The Skeleton Key

Colin Steele July 28, 2017 Comments Off on ALBUM REVIEW | Darling Waste – The Skeleton Key
ALBUM REVIEW | Darling Waste – The Skeleton Key
Overall Score

Cleveland, Ohio’s Darling Waste is an interesting little punk band.  These guys have been around for over a decade and gone through a few lineup changes.  The mainstay has been lead vocalist and songwriter Lance Waste.  After reforming the band a couple years ago, they are back with their newest album, The Skeleton Key.  Darling Waste has (at least to me) a unique blend of emo rock, pop punk, horror punk, and indie rock all rolled into one package.  The lyrics are very emotionally and brutally honest, telling about spiraling into self-destruction, toxic relationships, near-death experiences, etc.  The album is completely self-produced, and while I can definitely tell that, its a well done effort and fits the musical style of the band.  Its not super-polished and glossy like a pop punk album, but not so raw as a horror punk/hardcore record.  There’s lots of melody in both Lance’s vocal lines as well as Madeline Hoyle’s guitar lines.

Upon listening to the intro track, I thought I was in store for a more Wednesday 13/Murderdolls-style horror punk outing.  Its a great creepy intro.  And the creepy, unnerving vibe does indeed continue into the first song “Sing Along Time”, but it never gets too much.  Its more of a slight gothic influence that permeates the album.  The next song, “I Am The Villain,” is the album’s lead track and has a great vocal line.  The only issue i hear with it is a slight off time drum hit at the beginning of the chorus.  Maybe its just me, but it ever so slightly takes me out of the song.  Other than that, I like the song a lot.  The album goes on and reaches more of a gothic-y ballad in “Hurt Before” which features guest vocals from Stef Huschka (aka Stef w/ An F) of Minnesota outfit City Of The Weak.  I feel like the song is a marriage between My Chemical Romance and Type-O Negative with a female vocal thrown in.  Most of the songs tend to stay in the emo/punk vibe.  You definitely get the feeling that Lance Waste is working out some painful situations while singing/writing these songs.  This is happier sounding music for depressed people who need to feel better about their lives.  God knows, I certainly feel better about mine.

All in all, The Skeleton Key is a pretty cool record, especially for a DIY band who have paid their dues for as long as they have.  Its got a little something for everyone.  Gothic moodiness, punky/bouncy riffs, emotional/angst-ridden vocals, and and some indie sensibility.  If you’re into any of that, check these guys/gals out.


Top Tracks: “Sing Along Time”, “I Am The Villain”, “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” 

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About The Author

Colin Steele is a Charlotte, NC based musician, correspondent, and all around music junkie. He covers concerts and festivals, interviews artists, and reviews music for Ryze-Up as well as independently.

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