LA-based The Dear & Departed are clearly in the midst of
a struggle. Based on Every Waking Moment, the band’s second full length, there seems to be a creative tug of war over their
identity. Do they want to be a new-new wave, echoing ‘80s synth pop bands like
Depeche Mode and New Order? Or would they rather revel in their goth influences
from bands like AFI and Sisters of Mercy?
Judging from their latest, The Dear & Departed has taken
a “fuck it, let’s cram them both in” attitude and the result is more than a
little schizophrenic – enjoyable at times, but not nearly often enough. The
album was produced by New Found Glory guitarist and neo-emo figurehead Chad
Gilbert, which may be part of the blame for the underwhelming nature of Every
While the band has a knack for great harmonies (best
showcased in “Star Struck”), their so-so lyrics and recycled themes and riffs
too often make the band sound uninspired and like little more than a tribute
band playing deep cuts from Depeche Mode and AFI. Just not what the music world
needs right now.
Struck” and “Depth or Desperation” JOHN B. MOORE