The Dears - Time Infinity Volume One
The Dears first UK release in six years, Times Infinity is an album separated into two volumes (which at least makes up for the wait). The Montreal duo of Natalia Yanchak and Murray Lightburn have struggled to make much of an impression since 2007's You and I Are a Gang of Losers, but their few newest releases did show promise that they may again leave their mark.
On the last record, Degeneration Street, they really found their feet, a mix of hard indie rock with Lightburn's soulful vocals at their most triumphant - it's a shamefully overlooked album. Times Infinity Volume One, is a change in direction. This collection of songs is far less bitter and broody than previous efforts and are much more delicate and slow moving. There seems to be a more determined focus on the entire production and instrumentation and each track tries to showcase the songwriting with a different approach - whether it has brass elements or strings, there is a sense of much time and thought into making the album; which could partly explain why it has taken such a long time to be released.
The only real downfall is that the slower tracks tend to meander and fail to capture the imagination, 'Face of Horror, 'Onwards and Downward' and 'To Have and Hold' are hard to get lost in and even after repeated plays just become a bit dull especially when half of the album has such gems as 'We Lost Everything' and the masterpiece that is 'Here's To The Death Of All The Romance'; a track that would have not felt out of place on fellow Montreal residents Arcade Fire's Neon Bible.
Times Infinity Volume One is not the perfect comeback we hoped for. It lacks that killer single and is just OK. The meandering outweighs the thrills. Hopefully Volume Two, due fore release this summer can recapture some of the fire of their former glories. Until then, approach with care.