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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dear and the Headlights- Drunk Like Bible Times

Dear and the Headlights are sounding like a band on a mission with the release of their newest disc Drunk Like Bible Times, the follow-up to Small Steps, Heavy Hooves. The album title alone demands attention, and each track warrants just as much. Sounding much more urgent than their Small Steps, Heavy Hooves, Dear and the Headlights pick up the pace of this album, while still maintaining the effortless beauty of the debut. There seems to be a heavy Modest Mouse influence on this record, several songs sounding like they would fit in perfectly with Good News For People Who Love Bad News. In the first part of the disc, we hear the heavier influence. They start off with “I’m Not Crying. You’re Not Crying, Are You,” beginning slow, and rocketing off into a swirl of guitar and drums. Vocalist Ian Metzger sings with such passion that you are immediately hanging on every lyric pouring from his emotional voice. Ironically enough, we hear the biggest Modest Mouse influence on “Bad News.” They seem to paint a picture with this song, displaying whirling acoustic guitar, gentle drums and precise vocals, only to splash into chaos, settling on the canvas only at the very end. We witness Dear and the Headlights at their heaviest with “Carl Solomon Blues,” and keeping pace with the cascading “Wiletta.” The single “Talk About” is a standout, bouncy and light, zigzagging up and down. The contrast between the layers of noise and abundant cutouts make the track very intriguing. The piano-based “Saintly Rows” paces up and down, before going into a full sprint, and “Now It’s Over” features an interesting, rolling beat, and we find Dear and the Headlights trying a new song format that suits them well. With Drunk Like Bible Times, Dear and the Headlights seem to be moving in a new direction, more upbeat and fun than its predecessor, every track is a joy, but there is just never a moment of complete amazement. Good record? Yes. Great? Not quite, but Dear and the Headlights are a young band, and I have a feeling they will be stealing the spotlight in the near future.


Key Tracks: “Talk About” “I’m Not Crying. You’re Not Crying, Are You?” “Bad News” 

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