Dearestazazel - Be Mine
Record Label: One Eleven Records
Release Date: July 8, 2008
Take a blender, throw in an opera-trained singer, a few synthesizers, some doom-metal guitars almost reminiscent of H.I.M., the occasional shred nearly worthy of Dragonforce, 80's hair metal combined with an almost Pink Floyd sensibility, and you'll have Dearestazazel's debut album, Be Mine. Hardly anyone knows them yet, and to be frank, it's unlikely their fanbase will grow tremendously with this release. But sometimes these odd and unpopular bands release something pretty interesting.
In only ten songs, Be Mine manages to diversely handle the progressive pop-metal genre (if one exists). There are synthesizers and borderline dance-beats throughout much of the album, but the synthesizers are more present on some songs than others. "Sex Is A Sin," the opening track, uses one prominently on top of rock guitars, but the outcome is debatable. It does indeed have a catchy chorus, but nowadays, what song doesn't? It needs something more, and the synth gives it a little too much of an 80s feel to accomplish much with the rest of the song. "I Never See Them In The Dark," with its dark but strong beat and metal lyrics on top of a rolling pop melody, perhaps uses the synth best.
The slightly hair-metal "Lovely Lovely" is easily a highlight of the CD, as is the pop-rock "Get On Board The Drug Train," a potential single with the right-wing-maddening lyric, "I just want to get on board the drug train / I just want to make it happen today."
However, the places Dearestazazel show a flash of brilliance are the two oddest moments on the album. "All My Friends Are In Love With Satan" is just as wacky as the title indicates, a keyboard-bouncing verse (Broadway-style, nevertheless), paired with a rock chorus and a Black Parade-type solo; it will stick in your head, never to leave again. "Bubbles And Nights" is the true epitome, though, when it showcases masterful hook-writing, simplistic yet creepy lyrics in multi-tracked vocals, and one of the catchiest solos I've ever heard.
To sum it up: Be Mine is catchy as hell, combining pop and metal, a dash of brilliance, a sprinkle of impending doom, and you have a new band who could make their mark on progressive rock with future albums. For this one, though, a critical ear hears a few standout songs and a few that need maturing in sound and lyrics.