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Dear and the Headlights - Drunk Like Bible Times Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 6.75
Production 6.25
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 7.75
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 75%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.94
Musicianship 9.02
Lyrics 8.54
Production 8.69
Creativity 8.62
Lasting Value 8.73
Reviewer Tilt 9.25
Average: 88%
Inside AP.net

Dear and the Headlights - Drunk Like Bible Times

Reviewed by: Julia Conny (09/30/08)
Dear and the Headlights - Drunk Like Bible Times
Release Date: September 30th, 2008
Record Label: Equal Vision


In a roundabout way, Dear and the Headlights are a simple band. On 2007's Small Steps, Heavy Hooves, the band's Equal Vision debut, they played folk-like rock with the sweetest temper. They pounded their pianos and strummed their guitars like modest but passionate local pub regulars. They released songs called "Happy in Love" and "Mother Make Me Golden". Vocalist Ian Metzger sung about awkward, oddly sweet relationships, a yearning for childhood innocence and even Thunder Cats. Yet it was all so remarkable - the accessibility, the nimble personality and the bittersweet ambiance - that it was almost like the band didn't even have to try to appear normal. They were just one of us. And that's why we could connect so strongly to the album.

But Dear and the Headlights are actually not a simple band. The themes on Heavy Hooves stretched, sometimes obscurely, to very specific experiences ("Skinned Knees & Gapped Teeth") or to vague ideas ("Oh No!"). The melodies and hooks were never regurgitated or at stock price. Layered guitars and pianos built dignified structures. Metzger's timbre, the band's shiniest star, is a mid-range scruff that is uniquely down-to-earth. For the band's newest, Drunk Like Bible Times, they rehash these specialties but typically so.

The approachable folk rock comes inherently, this we get. "I'm Not Crying, You're Not Crying, Are You?", the opener on Bible Times, rolls into a stepping melody and a familiar technique of chorus-building. Heavy Hooves guitar tones and riffs that were decidedly Midwestern are back for the trademark. Supposing because it's already known what to expect from Dear and the Headlights, the album in majority is predictable. "Talk About" could be exchanged for any song on Heavy Hooves. The stomping keys and then vocal recluse on "Try" aren't as special as they were the first time around on similar kin, "Mother Make Me Golden". Metzgers' vocals are more refined, focusing less on the raw yelps and out-of-tune highlights, a downside to the album's production. Tracks like "Carl Solomon Blues" enact an edgy new swagger, but it's not enough to keep the album as free flowing as their last.

The grandest moment for Dear and the Headlights though is the transformed and multi-attituded ender, "I Know". Moody, eerie and loose in the beginning and then mutating into an explosive clapping and celebratory sing-along, it's a coin of how Dear and the Headlights can progress and expand. While the whole of Bible Times felt aimed for a second version of Heavy Hooves (and just ended up less personable), it's not like the talent or connection isn't there; it just had mighty shoes to fill.

RIYLThe Hold Steady, The Dear Hunter, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Harrison Hudson, Death Cab For Cutie, Colour Revolt
Additional InformationOfficial Website | Myspace | AP.net Profile | Amazon | Vinyls
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 78.
03:13 PM on 09/30/08
#2
TooLateF0rRoses
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well written review, but i feel 75 may be a bit low. kinda diggin this one just the same as the first.
03:17 PM on 09/30/08
#3
Julia Conny
"Julia HurriConny"
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well written review, but i feel 75 may be a bit low. kinda diggin this one just the same as the first.

Hah, it feels low to me too. I love this band so much. I felt like I connected so well to Heavy Hooves, and this one just didn't come close. Maybe it needs to sink in more.
03:21 PM on 09/30/08
#4
Mark85
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Surprised to see this so low, Im listening to it right now and loving it, gotta disagree with you here.

Its more of the same from DatH though and I can see why such an unambitous album is slapped with a low score, but 75 is a kick in the teeth!
03:25 PM on 09/30/08
#5
Sic Transit Zeb
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Hah, it feels low to me too. I love this band so much. I felt like I connected so well to Heavy Hooves, and this one just didn't come close. Maybe it needs to sink in more.

I agree with you there. Heavy hooves was great and I instantly loved it but this one has yet to really 'wow' me. I'm gonna give it some more chances though, so one can hope!
03:31 PM on 09/30/08
#6
Mens
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This is kinda what i expected after hearing the two songs on myspace. but its still enjoyable for sure
03:51 PM on 09/30/08
#7
joshy hizzle
Rocky Top
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seems low but I haven't heard it yet, of course.
I hope it's better than what I've heard of Glass Passenger so far..
05:08 PM on 09/30/08
#8
IamTheINDUSTRY
glory glory
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Hah, it feels low to me too. I love this band so much. I felt like I connected so well to Heavy Hooves, and this one just didn't come close. Maybe it needs to sink in more.

love this album. "willetta" is the highlight. 82-85% for this one seems about right. i think it may be better than the first if for nothing else than how well the last 4 songs flow together.
06:16 PM on 09/30/08
#9
saving jonathan
everything in transit
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I know how excited you were for this. Seems like you're a bit disappointed?

This definitely wins for Album Title Of The Year, though.
07:31 PM on 09/30/08
OKComputer1016
this is success-this is how we feel
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awesome review as usual: 'The grandest moment for Dear and the Headlights though is the transformed and multi-attituded ender, "I Know".' i love your descriptions
08:03 PM on 09/30/08
NorthstarPark
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I downloaded the leaked copy sunday (I know im a bastard) but I LOVED it and went out and bought it today. DLBT is catchier and sticks with you more, but SSHH takes awhile to grab you and when it does....it does (well in my opinion). Both albums are damn good, I say if you want something more upbeat go with this album and if you want something mellower go with Small Steps, Heavy Hooves. Also I can not wait to see them with Forgive Durden and Steel Train.
08:06 PM on 09/30/08
Hidenothing27
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ehhh not low enough in my opinion.. i wanna love this album but every time i listen i get more frustrated... biggest letdown of the year for me...
08:45 PM on 09/30/08
capnshindig
Guten Taaaag!
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I am loving every second of this CD.
08:53 PM on 09/30/08
live.
Feenay! Fee hee hee hee heenay!
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Great album, 75 seems low but great review. I'd suggest lowering the lasting value but boosting production and lyrics. I'll probably get over this quickly like SSHH
09:25 PM on 09/30/08
You Won't Know
You're fuckin out and I'm fuckin in
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I haven't heard the whole album, just a few songs, so I won't slam you totally, but 75%? Really? This band is just too innovative, too creative, too heartfelt and catchy, to be a 75%. It's all relative... maybe if this was a Pitchfork review I could understand it. But this is absolutepunk. Panic at the Disco! gets 85, you know? The Starting Line probably does too. This band deserves more credit and I honestly believe you need to rethink this review of the record; it's not poorly written but I just feel like you're unfairly penalizing the band.

When I finish listening to the entire CD and not just a few songs, this may be way more scathing.
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