It's hard to discuss a band like Dark Blue without prefacing it all with their stellar pedigree — with members serving time in bands like Ceremony, Puerto Rico Flowers, Purling Hiss, Clockcleaner, Paint It Black, Nine Shocks Terror and more — yet as we've seen time and again, one plus one does not always equal two when it comes to band chemistry and the ability to create a cohesive song (see most super-groups pretty much ever). Yet Philly's Dark Blue have built a following on the strength of solid jams that nod to Joy Division and moody goth, Britpop, punk, skinhead music (don't recoil, it's of the non-sketchy sort), and hooks on hooks. There's a simplicity to their approach — a WYSIWYG that captures a melody and nails it into your brain.
Dark Blue's latest is Victory Is Rated, a nine-song LP due February 22nd via 12XU that features production from Jeff Ziegler and even an appearance from indie mega-star Kurt Vile. The lead track, which premieres here and opens the LP, is "Waterford Crystals," a mid-paced, slinky rocker that recalls moments of Catherine Wheel along with the aforementioned. John Sharkey III's booming vocals lead you through the moody melodic burner, starting with a searing guitar lead and opening up to a bass and drums-led verse before tumbling back into that great lead once again. Stream it below for the first time, and look for them to play a single U.S. gig in NYC at Saint Vitus on March 1st.