Fire the producer

Joy Division is the new garage rock.

Bands have been ripping off Joy Division for years, but in the last 18 months, they’ve gotten a lot of attention.

Interpol is perhaps the most popular of the bunch, even though it’s not the best. The Stills seem to have a lot potential, but my money is on Longwave.

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness could probably be accused of dipping into the same creative well, and on some level, the Austin, Texas, band could compete with the likes of the aforementioned groups.

But it’s not going to do it with this self-titled debut EP.

Produced by indie rock It-boy Britt Daniel — who hates being associated with indie rock — I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness, the recording, possess all the limp fidelity of, well, a Spoon album.

(Yes, I’ve listened to Spoon many times, but like Mishima Yukio novels, I don’t comprehend the appeal.)

The playing is messy, which is fine, but the recording sounds thin. The rhythm section — especially the bass work of Eddie Robert — seems to get lost, and this collection of songs needs a rhythm section with a strong presence.

The opener, “We’re Still the Weaker Sex”, has a lot of untapped potential. Everything on that track could have been bigger — busier guitars, deeper drums — but instead, it’s half a step up from demo quality.

The disc doesn’t really shine till the middle two songs. “I Want To Die In The Hot Summer” hints at how a crisper sound may benefit the band, while “When You Go Out” possesses enough guts to overcome its sonic trappings.

In terms of songwriting, I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness crank out a decent set of tunes, atmospheric and just a bit rough. It will be interesting to see how the band stretches that writing out for an entire album, but before then, I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness should find a producer who can do it justice.