Strangled Darlings at The Beatniks Lounge in Worcester, MA

Photos ant Review by Eric Pennell
Show photos HERE
“Kill yourself”. That’s what the tee-shirt says. The one right next to the sticker that reads “Strangled Darlings: Americana Doom Pop.” OK, now I’m intrigued.
Beatniks lounge in Worcester, MA was home to Strangled Darlings this past Saturday night; a funky old joint recently renovated and catering to local (and not so local) music and arts. I say “not so local” because Strangled Darlings hail from Portland, Oregon. They sold their home, bought an RV, loaded up their instruments and their Labradoodle and headed across the country in support of their latest effort, Boom Stomp King.
Take what you think you know about folk music, Americana and the likes of that, crumple it up and set it on fire or something. Strangled Darlings have expert song writing, exquisite musicianship, funky beats, flowing melodies and a twisted sense of humor (remember the tee-shirt that says “Kill Yourself”?) Who else could write a touching ballad about Anna Nicole Smith and what I think was an allusion to haunted breast implants causing all the death and insanity around her.
Strangled Darlings consists of George Veech – vocals and mandolin, and Jessica Anderly – vocals and cello/bass. About that cello/bass; it’s a cello, custom made. Six, strings and frets but tuned like a cello. There are no drums but you won’t miss them. Anderly’s percussive style and Veech’s foot stomping kept the groove. They are extremely expressive on stage; sometimes lost in the music (in their own piece of the story) or standing face to face, laughing and smiling with each other. Anderly’s softer harmonizing vocals are the perfect balance to Veech’s; sharp, staccato at times, mournful and longing. Veech puts his whole being into this music. The mandolin is working overtime; playing rhythm and lead and the tone is an ideal companion to the cello. It all works so well and you forget this amazing sound and fantastic storytelling is coming from only 2 people and 2 small, stringed instruments.
They will be back in New England sometime in the spring, according to Veech, so keep your eyes and ears open for their next show. In the meantime, enjoy the photo gallery.

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