Dahling – Demo

As a punk and local music aficionado I am no stranger to fly-by-night bands and one-EP wonders. After hearing their recent demo, I’m hoping that Austin’s Dahling don’t end up among that lot. Fronted by Capitalist Kids’ guitarist Braden Holt, Dahling’s 2-song demo came along at just the right time of year for me with just the right kind of music. Having been an unusually warm February for the most part, I’ve been jonesing for some new punk music and out of nowhere Dahling have come to deliver.

Dahling - 'Searchlights'

Rough though it may be, Dahling’s demo shows a lot of promise. Part mission statement and part lament, the lead off track “Searchlights” kicks off with the lyric “I’ve been searching / for sometime / for someone / to address all my music to,” and proceeds (though somewhat awkwardly) to conjure up images of mid-90’s punk/emo outfits like Jawbreaker and The Promise Ring. The second track “Potential Cops” follows suit with a similar sound, but an amped up approach that’s more party punk than emo rant and has me tapping my toes for the full two minutes it lasts.

At its worst Dahling’s demo is just that, a demo. “Searchlights”’s opening moments show a minor lack of band cohesion with some awkward pacing and rhythm, but it’s nothing that time and practice won’t tighten up. “Potential Cops,” however, feels a bit more finished as a whole and when all is said and done I’m looking forward to hearing something more official from this three-piece. In the end, while a somewhat rocky start, Dahling’s demo doesn’t steer me off. If anything it’s whet my appetite and before long I hope to be writing glowing reviews of future releases and rocking out to these and other tracks live.

– Brian Audette