When you consider that Those Darlins, the sassy all-girl-plus-one-guy Tennessee outfit whose debut full-length included a song called "Wild One" (sample lyric: "If you can't handle crazy/ go ahead and leave/ If you don't want 'em wild/ Well, quit hangin' 'round with me."), another called "DUI or Die" and yet another about eating an entire chicken while intoxicated ("The Whole Damn Thing"), the fact that they've titled their sophomore record Screws Get Loose is a humorous one that begs the question: The screws are only just now getting loose?
As it turns out, though, the band's latest outing is an amped-up departure from the Darlins' twangier past. Clear standout "Be Your Bro" is the best example of this evolution, its scuzzy, classic girl-group swagger topped only by eminently quotable lyrics such as, "I just wanna, I just wanna be your brother/ You just wanna be my boyfriend/ I just wanna run and play in the dirt with you/ You just wanna stick it in." Other familiar topics include food ("Fatty Needs a Fix"), gentleman issues ("Hives, "Boy") and those ubiquitous crazy times ("Screws Get Loose," "Mystic Mind"), all of which are filtered through a punk lens that rarely disappoints.
Whether it's a side effect from time spent playing shows with the Strange Boys, Gentleman Jesse and Black Lips — Screws Get Loose was recorded at Atlanta's Living Room, where the latter put Good, Bad, Not Evil to tape — or a natural indulgence of the inherit garage-leaning moments of Those Darlins' self-titled debut, it's hard to say. But here's hoping no one tightens those screws.