Cassette Review //
Darko the Super & Steel Tipped Dove
"The Devil Defeated"
(Already Dead Tapes)

$6 //
Edition of 100 // //

If you've ever felt like Darko the Super is putting out too much music, all you have to do is actually listen to the releases to understand how they're different.   Not only can you think of "The Devil Defeated" as being the one where Steel Tipped Dove does the beats, but you can also think of it as the one which pays tribute to Daniel Johnston, given the title and the artwork.   Even though their sounds aren't exactly the same isn't it great how similar Darko the Super and Daniel Johnston are as artists?

The lyrics on here, as always, give me a lot to pull quotes from.  The second song says "I was on the bus" in a certain way that gets me every time.  On "The News" I like the line "Told myself I'd lose weight, but I'm drinking soda still" because I feel like that a lot.  I always want to give up certain foods to lose weight but then I think "Life was meant to be lived" and just eat an entire cake.   Also, on "The News" ialive name drops Mick Foley so that made me wonder when we're going to get that Darko (or HHS) collab with Mega Ran.  I hear he likes wrestling too.

On the titular track there is a line I really enjoy where Darko says:"I don't wanna be a grown up / I wanna be a song and dance man" and of course he also pays respects to the main character with: "Daniel Johnston is a beautiful genius".    The first side comes to an end with a song which has Lil B on it as well as Charles Hamilton and in that song I feel like he's dropping hints at Gym Class Heroes when he says "feeling kind of worthless".   Did anyone else catch that?  Am I just reading too far into this?

The flip side starts with a song called "Suzy" in which Darko declares "I shot Suzy in the face last night".   Throughout this song and the second side the story of "The Devil Defeated" really begins to unfold.   There have been chill beats throughout, but I feel like "The Ledge" is one of my favorite songs musically and it just takes off from there.   Though the song "Lo-fi Princess 2" (if I can jump back to the first side) is more singing, there is a definite tone set by the first side versus the second side, almost like it's the two different sides of Darko the Super.

What the listener may not know- what they might not catch during these songs are the small references which are not direct.  I'm not sure even I pick up on all of them.  But lines like: "It is now my duty to leave you completely drained" would be a reference to Nirvana, although that isn't their exact lyric.   This happens a bit and with that the genius of Darko the Super is that he can take and twist a phrase in a way which you don't expect when you hear the first line but when that second like hits you think "Yeah! Why didn't I see that coming!"  I found this with the line about "maybe it's Maybelline".

There is also a song on here called "Grow Fangs", who have released music on Already Dead as well, and it would be interesting if at some point throughout his many releases Darko the Super put a song named after an artist on each one so in five years we could put them together on a compilation somehow.  Just knowing they're there is good enough for me though.  Then I wondered if Darko would ever make a song about me, but I don't think he was raised by cassettes-- I don't know if he's old enough.  But I'd want my line to be: "I was raised by cassettes but I'm not grown up yet" even though I'm just getting ahead of myself now.


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