What’s in a name? For the Nashville-via-Murfreesboro, Tenn. gang of Southern femme fatales known as Those Darlins, you’d be forgiven for assuming something with a little less firepower than the group’s newest single, “Be Your Bro.” But once Jessi, Nikki and Kelley Darlin get the track cookin’, drawing as much from early-’60s girl groups like The Supremes as they do from trashy drunk-rockers Guided By Voices, they emerge as anything but safe. Darling? Sure. Girly? Maybe, but don’t let them hear you say it. Jessi Darlin sings, “I just wanna run and play in the dirt with you / You just wanna stick it in” with the wry, boyish wit you might expect from one of the Goonies.

Those Darlins

“Be Your Bro”
Screw Get Loose

There’s no shortage of lady-led bands borrowing from Phil Spector’s girl pop, and many do it well — Vivian Girls and Dum Dum Girls are among the best. Consider the Darlins a more southern-fried, whiskey-tinged and volatile alternative — the kind of girls that’d match you drink for drink and leave you under the table just for a laugh. As dangerous as it is inviting, “Be Your Bro,” along with any of the backwoods pop romps on the forthcoming album Screws Get Loose, is all attitude and charm, spit-shined to perfection. Guys, you’ve been warned.

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