From Blondie and the Go-Go’s in the ‘70s to contemporary groups like the Primitives and Voice of the Beehive, pure girl-pop, mid-'60s vintage, has cast an enduring spell.
It usually comes with an ironic angle these days, but the Darling Buds take it on their own terms. At the Whisky on Wednesday, singer Andrea Lewis’ neo-'60s look evoked the era without re-creating it, and the young Welsh band’s music rested on period values--exuberance, innocence, sunny melodies, catchy hooks--without sounding overly retro.
But fundamentally, it is retro, and while the Buds are a little too inventive to be cast as revivalists, they aren’t bold enough to become innovators. On their album, “Crawdaddy,” they thicken the pop with dense, twisted textures, lending it an off-center quality. At the Whisky, though, they mainly rocked--about a hundred times harder than they do on the album.
But as much as the band put into its music, it’s ultimately an unambitious endeavor, lacking the great songs and the compelling stance to make it more than a genre exercise.