The Dears - Times Infinity Volume Two
Quebec’s The Dears return with their seventh studio album from their 20 plus year career. Times Infinity Volume Two sees the husband and wife team complete their two album project, following on from Time Infinity Volume One released in the UK at the beginning of the year, although originally completed and released back in 2015. Putting in 20 hour days to complete the record, this passion project, following a six year hiatus, is the darker of the two albums that ups the anxious unease from Volume One, injects it with the anthemic jauntiness from their earlier releases, and overlays it with more synth and string work than their previous releases.
Musically, the record dials back on the rockier elements from 2006’s Gang Of Losers with album opener ‘Taking It To The Grave’ fragile synth opener building and swelling to a post rock end. Other highlights arrive with the driving 60s Soul bassline and jangly guitars of ‘1998’, ‘Guns or Knives’ which manages to sound like a big band crooner in a dystopian future, and the Velvet Underground/Beach Boys shimmer of ‘I’m Sorry That I Wished You Dead’ with its funny but brutal refrain “I want you, I want all of you, to leave us alone”.
The team of Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak have made a point of communicating a brutal honesty in the output, and that is still the case with Times Infinity Volume Two. From Lightburn’s angsty Damon Albarn-esque intonation to the interweaving instrumentation drawing influences far and wide from the aforementioned Velvet Underground to Jazz to Soul to Post Rock. Although darker than Volume One, this release is more accessible and feels like The Dears getting back on the right track.