The Dearly Bereft is a five-piece Torontoan act with a sense of morbid humor that makes Morrissey seem upbeat. I think that this is all a part of an elaborate joke, a shtick if you will. They claim to be a Funeral Band, and the music is dark and quirky.
Such shticks tend to wear thin, at least to me. However, The Dearly Bereft have crafted a fun little record of silly pop tunes.
The EP starts off with a song titled Laura Palmer, and the Twin Peaks reference should indicate that you are in an elaborate tongue-in-cheek joke. It starts with a light tinkling guitar, and then it pops and the drums tap in along with nice whooshing keyboards. Anna Navrota whispers at first, and then sings light, crisp, gothish and delicate. It's a fun song.
The guitar work is excellent on Some Devil, just a lovely chiming. Navrota is bluesier here, the syllables a little swallowed as the song moves along, a happy thing considering it is supposed to be Funeral Music.
Hungry Ghosts is the first song here to live up to the Funeral Music term. It is a darkly ominous instrumental, two and a half minutes of keys in layers thunking away while aahing sounds ebb in the background.
Dig A Grave warbles along, the guitar tremoloed and dark while cymbal hits slightly and a male voice kind of drawls along. Navrota comes in, singing in a dramatic warble. This tune is goth by the numbers. It's not bad, but a little too serious and cheesy.
Radio In The Funeral Parlor starts with an acoustic guitar strumming as the male voice sings, like something from Earth Sun Moon by Love and Rockets. Eventually Navrota comes in along with the drums, and the song sounds more like a Michael Grace, Jr.-fronted My Favorite tune.
They get seriously dreampoppy on Asleep At A Wake, an instrumental buried under a ton of tremolo and reverb. This could almost be a Triathalon song, and it tinkles along nicely.
And finally we wrap thing sup with a solid indie rock tune called So It Goes. The bass line here rolls along wonderfully as guitars grind and Navrota spits out the vocals angrily. This is good stuff.
This EP is a fine start from The Dearly Bereft. I wonder how long they can keep up this Funeral Music shtick?