The Dears: Times Infinity Volume One (Dangerbird) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019  

The Dears

Times Infinity Volume One

Dangerbird

Oct 20, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


With its last album, 2011's Degeneration Street, The Dears returned to its roots, at least lineup-wise. Past members Patrick Krief (guitars/vocals), Robert Benvie (guitars/keyboards/vocals), and Robert Arquilla (bass/vocals) returned to the fold after a period away from the band, and a new member, drummer Jeff Luciani, rounded out the group that had since its formation been anchored by married couple Murray A. Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak. Degeneration Street was a beast, 14 tracks of smoldering rock and soulful groove that seemed to encapsulate the hell-and-back state the band had been in during its then recent history.

Recorded in 2014, Times Infinity Volume One finds the band members the same, with the exception of the absent Benvie, but the results, in a sense, couldn't be more different. First, the overall mood isn't as heavy, as ominous, foreboding, and tense as it was on Degeneration Street. Moods shift, playful and loving at times, heavier at others, sometimes even jaunty. While "We Lost Everything" hums and buzzes with electronic accent before opening into skittering guitar groove, "To Hold and Have" is a full-on orchestral love song with Lightburn crooning over almost Bacharach-esque arrangement. Yanchak and Lightburn share vocals on "You Can't Get Born Again," a gentle keyboard-textured call-and-response, a discussion between vocalists on whether people can change, and a resigned assessment of fate by two people whose lives are forever intertwined. "Someday All This Will Be Yours" begins with vocal do-do-do's and coasts on a bouncy beat, while "I Used to Pray for the Heavens to Fall" is arena-like in its opening before falling off into quasi-minimalist soul.

Second, and perhaps to much the same point, Times Infinity Volume One is more concise, just nine songs and what amounts to a numbered introduction to track six. Songs make their point and move on. Feelings don't linger. It has the feel less of an instrumentally conceptual piece than a collection of songs. And as such, it is satisfying in a much different way than Degeneration Street was. Word is that a Times Infinity Volume Two is being planned for release in the not too distant future. Volume Two may be completely different than Volume One, and if we know anything about The Dears, perhaps we should expect that. For now, enjoy the exquisitely crafted pleasures of Times Infinity Volume One. (www.thedears.org)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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