Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Lost In the Plot b/w Heartless Romantic

  The Dears  

Bella Union

Release Date:


Reviewed by:

The Dears are a band that i have grown increasingly fascinated with this year. In June, being only moderately familiar with the band, i went to see them perform at The EARL. There i picked up some releases, and enjoyed the show a fair amount, but not as much as i would have thought i would enjoy it. Since then, i have listened to several Dears releases many times, and as a concise statement of what they are capable of, i keep coming back to this 7".

The A side is called Lost In the Plot, and is taken from The Dears' second full-length release, No Cities Left. This song starts with vocalist Murray Lightburn singing almost like Morrissey under some chugging guitars and chiming keyboards. He sings a really lovely melody here, but the words really channel the spirit of Morrissey, being about defeat and pain and monotony. Then, in the middle, Lightburn's voice fades out, and with a subtle shift the song inexplicable changes, becoming lighter, airier, with Lightburn singing something about love. Then, suddenly, it's back to the first bit, only this time with distortion and yelling. A brilliant tour de force in 4 minutes.

The B side is Heartless Romantic which is my favorite tune off of The Dears' first full-length release End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story. This song starts with a happy piano and drum bit, before Lightburn launches in, here singing under a mass of distortion and fuzz. Actually, he's really almost screaming, and his distorted angry sounding voice contrasts nicely with the simple piano and spastic drumming. Then, to make it even better, all of the other band members sing a response to Lightburn's called vocal lines, but whereas he is distorted and angry, they are clear and bored. He screams "I had no cigarettes" as if this lack of nicotine were a worldwide conspiracy out to thwart him, and the rest of the band sing, disinterestedly, "Give me more drugs". A fascinating dichotomy, and the fact that they do this with a catchy melody and a wonderful drum riff make this all the more interesting. Truly a great song.

So, in preparation for the release of their second full-length, The Dears compiled one of the best tunes off their first with a new, really powerful tune off of their second. I am sure that long term fans will be annoyed at buying something old to get something new, but for those who, like me, owned no albums but couldn't resist picking up a 7" single (my personal weakness, alas), this is a stunning opening statement. I had liked what i heard before this okay, but after listening to this 7" i started seeking out more and more of their material, until i now have a slightly impressive collection of their work. These two songs stand high in their catalog, and indeed, high in the general list of "really cool songs released in the last 5 years".

I guess that my point here is this: in a way, this 7" is a two track "Best of The Dears". And, when you put it that way, this is a perfect release. I bet that most bands could distill their stuff down to a 2 Track Best Of... As a result, this is a perfect introduction to their music. If you are not familiar with The Dears at all, go and track down this 7". Although these are their best two tracks, they are also indicative of the general quality of their music, and there are many more enjoyable tunes to explore.

Related Links:
  The Dears live in 2005.
Another single: We Can Have It b/w Summer of Protest.

Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Album Review menu.