The best thing about Dearly Beloveds debut, Make It Bleed, is that it defies expectations. The indie bands name and the record title might have you expecting a pre-shrunk iteration of My Chemical Romance, but the album is better than that. There are some very catchy hooks here, but aside from a few quality singles, this record doesnt have amazing staying power.
The album opens with Acceptance Corporation, which begins with an intriguing combo of building guitar, quiet cymbal, and a gong-effect, but too soon opens into a somewhat-forgettable montage of grungy guitar and absentminded lyrics. This seems to be the bands M.O. Say this for Dearly Beloved — the band surely knows how to start a song. What they do with it after that is kind of a crapshoot.
Next, however, comes Move On, one of the albums finest moments and clearly a ready-made single. Just try to keep this songs chorus out of your head: I got to move on/and so do you/I got to move on The guitar is darkly textured, and the song is overlaid with a light touch of chimes, just enough to keep things interesting. The radio will eat this track up, and youll enjoy hearing it (at least the first thirty times).
Another good moment is Carnivale (Onze), which begins with a cacophony of voices that suddenly cuts into a quieter, well-paced vocal, which grabs the listeners attention. And here, the band manages to hold it; they repeat that contrast and layer in some building guitar, and the whole effect is quite interesting.
Unfortunately, the rest of the album continues on at a pleasant if unmemorable pace. The opening guitar line on The Ride rocks pretty hard, but the lyrics and later distortion feel distracting. When Slow Is The New Fast starts with an ear-grabbing whistle, but quickly loses the listener. Dress It Up has a good intro with a kinked-up electric guitar, but segues into forgettable lyrics that drown out what was enjoyable about the piece in the first place.
This album is clearly a mixed bag. There are good moments, and then there are moments that blend into the wallpaper of indie-pop music. Dearly Beloved would do well to explore those interesting rhythms theyve currently got placed in the background; theyre much more unique than the songs themselves.