Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Dear And Departed

It's been a while since I've heard anything from legendary hardcore label, Equal Vision, so when the Dear and Departed showed up on my desk I figured it was going to be some sort of post hardcore, screamo band. Damn, was I wrong. Not only was I wrong about Equal Vision but I was completely wrong about the Dear and Departed. Fronted by Los Angeles tattoo artist Dan Smith (of reality TV fame), The Dear And Departed are anything but hardcore, post hardcore, or screamo. While they might have some emo tendencies, I think that would be a disservice to the band as they have so much more going on than most emo bands on the planet.

Their album, Every Waking Moment is a sweeping soaring affair that's burdened with a heavy heart and the songs to match. Vocals hit high octaves, riffs get ethereal, synths wash over it all and the songs become as light as air. It's uplifting at times and overwrought with emotions at others and Every Waking Moment is almost like some sort of post emo-Coldplay-Cure hybrid where depression is relieved through songs that fly on the wings of hope. It's all very emotional stuff and while that might sound a bit lame, it really isn't because The Dear & Departed write such great songs that they hide all this stuff within catchy choruses, rolling rhythms, and memorable guitar work.

Every Waking Moment was a pleasant surprise and somehow I feel like I came out ahead on this one. I went in with an idea of what all this was going to be about and I was so completely wrong I ended up being blown away. The Dear and Departed are an impressive unit and despite having Hollywood connections they have very well written songs and an album that's modern, melodic, and potentially massive. This record is so good you'll want to listen to Every Waking Moment of it!

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