Dear Noel - Hope You Get to Heaven Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Record Label: None
Release Date: 2007
After catching a very energetic performance from this band, I decided it was well worth my $5 to buy their EP; turns out it was a fantastic investment. When I saw Dear Noel, they played for a crowd of (at most) 15 people, but put on a lively jumping show as if it were for a main stage performance at Warped Tour. This is the first thing to note about Dear Noel, something that separates them from many other pop-punk bands nowadays.
The album opens up with “Six Shooter Tango,” which is upbeat, synth-filled, and a delicious dance goodie. When Dear Noel says they write “music for parties,” they aren’t kidding. I wanted to leap up out of my cubicle and dance like there was no tomorrow. This song prepares the listener for the ear party that is about to occur.
“Jets to Carolina” is by far the best song on the EP. It is backed by an acoustic guitar and the lyrics are very heartfelt, and the lyrics are far from stereotypical. The second vocalist Josh Drake begins singing, I have already pictured myself in his situation. “There’s no plane to take me far enough to escape these thoughts, cause no matter what I’ll just be next in line” is such a standout lyric and point in this song that I could mention it multiple times. The listener can truly put themselves in the place that Drake finds himself in, and it’s hard to not feel compassion for him.
This EP continues at full power all the way up until a very well thought out closing song; my ears were never bored with what I was hearing. “Even Mr. Boddy Couldn’t Get a Clue” is a very clever song, with mention of a girl named Scarlet, which itself is a reference to a girl that is in a song by the band Nate and His Kite. There’s a wonderful play on words that continues throughout this song, playfully going along with the board game Clue. Drake showcases his exceptional writing ability on this song, as well as his wide vocal range.
This EP is a wonderful pick up, definitely giving one a breath of fresh air from a scene that reeks of pathetic cookie-cutter emo/pop-punk. Drake shows that he can not only carefully craft the lyrics, but can generate some very infectious guitar riffs as well. He started this band by himself and it was only a solo acoustic act at first, now which has evolved into so much more. He’s made the transition to a full band with poise and grace, and racking up a fan base in the meantime. Be very excited for what this band has to bring to the table in the future.