With its fourth album, Ohio, the Dallas-based sextet known as [DARYL] delivers a vital 14-song cycle that is as gripping as it is well-crafted. Topically structured around frontman Dylan Silvers' formative years living in the Buckeye State, the set bows with the bright, melodic indie rocker "Happy Accidents," but never loses steam as the group steps out of its new wave redux shell of yore. Winning anthems ("Make Up") rest alongside arresting, pensive songcraft ("Right Now I Could Be a Ghost") and bouncy, Plimsouls-like numbers ("You Were Way Too Young"), resulting in an album that sustains interest and holds up with each successive listen. If the title track is the beautifully structured centerpiece, better still is the adjacent "Just Because the Lake Was Frozen Over" -- a heartfelt, emotive creation. It's worth noting that the disc was recorded, produced, and mixed with White Stripes and Modest Mouse vet Stuart Sikes -- not to mention the fact that Cursive's Tim Kasher and members of the Old 97's and Polyphonic Spree help out. But the most important message one can convey about the engrossing Ohio is that it is a must-have for any self-respecting indie rock loyalist.
by John D. Luerssen