Dear And The Headlights

Drunk Like Bible Times

Written by: TL on 27/10/2008 11:39:42

After having left Dear And The Headlights with a meager 7 when I reviewed their debut album last year, the amount of occasions on which I've been thinking of or listening to songs off "Small Steps, Heavy Hooves" has done its part towards telling me that maybe I should've been a bit more generous to it. That being the case, it was with a good deal of enthusiasm that I got hold of the band's sophomore "Drunk Like Bible Times" for the purpose of this review.

Since then however, my excitement has dampened somewhat, because even though I've been giving "Drunk Like Bible Times" a good deal of spins, trying to let it grow on me, it still has tremendous problems finding its place in my rotation. It's not that much has changed - Dear And The Headlights still sound like a good solid indie-rock outfit, that stirs associations to bands both American (Cold War Kids, Bright Eyes, Kings Of Leon to name a few), British (The Thrills, Razorlight, etc.) and Danish (Saybia, The Blue Van). Their approach is still rather traditional, avoiding the otherwise regular pop-remedies and disco/punk fusionism while maintaining a focus on penning good guitar/piano-driven songs for your mind to circle around. Problem is that on "Drunk Like Bible Times" they don't succeed at it anywhere near as consistently as on "Small Steps, Heavy Hooves".

If I had to put my finger on one thing that has changed, it would be that it seems Dear And The Headlights have turned up the volume a little bit, allowing their instruments to take up more room, playing them at slightly higher speeds. Where the debut was almost John Mayer-ish in how relaxed it was, "Drunk..." rocks a good deal more, which is something I'd welcome if it didn't seem so disruptive to what works in the songs. As I implied earlier, things just don't seem as memorable as they were before, and while I can recall a small handful of tracks off the debut easily, so far, of the new songs, only "Bad News" and "Talk About" have become familiar to some extent to me.

It's not that there's anything technically wrong with "Drunk Like Bible Times", and it speaks volumes of the band's versatility when they, over the course of just one album, can remind me of more than ten bands that sound similar, yet remarkably different. It's just all to no avail when the lines, vocal and melodies, aren't nearly catchy enough, resulting in me getting bored with the album little more than halfway through. The music's there and it's fine, but Dear And The Headlines fail largely at making it matter to you, at least this time around, and conclusively, "Drunk Like Bible Times" ends up as an album I hardly foresee I'll be spinning again.

Download: Bad News, Talk About, I'm Not Crying You're Not Crying Are You?
For The Fans Of: The Blue Van, The Thrills, Cold War Kids, Saybia,

Release Date 30.09.2008
Equal Vision Records

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