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DARKO charges against toxic masculinity in “What I Cannot Be”

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UK punks DARKO take a bold stand against traditional norms of masculinity with their latest single, “What I Cannot Be.” The track, a fierce mix of melodic skate punk and hardcore influences, signifies a sharp turn from the band’s previous sound, echoing the intensity of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge.

The song is the lead-off track from their upcoming EP “Greyscale,” a project helmed by returning producer Will Duff of Goliath Studios. “Greyscale” is set to be the second part of a trilogy, following the band’s 2022 genre-defying EP “Sparkle.” In “What I Cannot Be,” frontman Tom West delivers a scathing critique of “neanderthal hardmen” and outdated masculine stereotypes, building on the themes introduced in “Sparkle’s” opener “The Ladder.”


West explains the evolution of their sound as a necessary response to the subject matter, moving beyond the band’s melodic roots to express anger and frustration. This departure marks a new chapter for DARKO, as they continue to evolve and challenge societal norms through their music.

Having undergone a significant lineup change in 2020 with the departure of longtime vocalist Dan Smith and the addition of Tom West, DARKO’s sound has taken on a new dimension. Their style, a hybrid of skate punk, melodic hardcore, and progressive elements, reflects influences ranging from Polar Bear Club to Mastodon, creating a unique sonic identity.


Fans can catch DARKO on their European tour this December, with performances in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Austria. This tour not only promises an explosive showcase of their new material but also reaffirms their commitment to the punk and hardcore scene that nurtured them.

DARKO’s journey, marked by their raw, unapologetic lyrics and complex musical arrangements, continues to captivate audiences and challenge the status quo. With “What I Cannot Be,” they affirm their place as not just musicians, but as commentators on the social issues that resonate within and beyond their community.


Darko live dates:

Nov 30th – Wermelskirchen, DE @ Ajz Bahndamm Wermelskirchen *
Dec 1st – Oostende, BE @ TBC **
Dec 2nd – Den Haag, NL @ Musicon **
Dec 4th – Munich, DE @ Backstage Munich +
Dec 5th – Hradec Králové, CZ @ AC Klub
Dec 6th – Vienna, AT @ rhiz Vienna
Dec 7th – Bodenmais, DE @ Rote Res Bodenmaiss

* w/ Drunktank and Main Line 10
**w/ Drunktank, Mainline 10 & Venturas
+ w/ Melonball & Captain Asshole

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