It's been a while since I've gone to a gig where I could've counted the audience. Whilst I was a little surprised that The Dears had not sold out The Haunt, it did make for a more intimate experience. It also got me wondering, especially in the relative cultural oasis that is Brighton, what were the absentees thinking? However, it's not about quantity, but quality.
Having not released an album in the UK for 6 six years, 2017 has seen The Dears drop a couple of corkers by way of Times Infinity Vol 1 & 2. Recorded in tandem and said to be the outer and inner parts of a Dears jigsaw, Vol 1 & 2 contrasts lighter and darker elements to deliver some of their best work.
In the one time cinema screening room, The Dears started, rather aptly, with the first track off their latest album, 'Taking It To The Grave'. Natalia's delicate vocal gently eased the song in before Murray added more depth and it built to a stirring finale. Some very deft guitar work characterised 'I Used To Pray For The Heavens To Fall', before a switch to a more acoustic disposition for a track off 2003's 'No Cities Left': 'Who Are You, Defenders Of The Universe?'.
Continue reading: The Dears - Brighton's The Haunt 6.10.17 Live Review
In this age of untethered access to almost anything you care to search for on-line it's a little odd that the UK is only just seeing the release of the 'new' Dears album, more than eighteen months since its US debut. 'Times Infinity Volume One', is the bands sixth album and follows on from 2011's 'Degeneration Street'.
Described as the 'edge' to Volume Two's 'middle', of the imagined jigsaw, the belated release does tie in very nicely with the band's recent European tour and also means that we'll, hopefully, have less time to wait for the second instalment; both of the albums having been 'completed in tandem'. Volume One, the lighter, of the two related albums, sees the Canadian band, headed up by Husband and Wife Murray and Natalia, in a suitably reflective mood.
The ten tracks (Well nine and a 4 secs silence with a song title) switch between the brooding and sinister. From sitting nicely at the confluence of where Interpol meets Arcade Fire ('Here's To The Death Of All The Romance'/'I Used To Pray For The Heavens'/'We Lost Everything') to a more relaxed, contemplative introspection akin to Broken Bells ('Face Of Horrors') or later Blur (To Hold And Have') 'Vol One', if nothing else, keeps you intrigued as to what's coming next.
Continue reading: The Dears - Times Infinity Vol 1 Album Review