Release Date: Sep 25, 2015
Record label: Dangerbird Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock
With its last album, 2011's Degeneration Street, The Dears returned to its roots, at least lineup-wise. Past members Patrick Krief (guitars/vocals), Robert Benvie (guitars/keyboards/vocals), and Robert Arquilla (bass/vocals) returned to the fold after a period away from the band, and a new member, drummer Jeff Luciani, rounded out the group that had since its formation been anchored by married couple Murray A. Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak.
The much anticipated follow-up to 2011's excellent Degeneration Street, Times Infinity 1 is the first installment of a planned two-part collection of new music from the Montreal-based indie rock/post-rock unit led by Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak. Written and recorded over a two-year span, the ten-track set feels both epic and intimate, hopeful and apocalyptic, which is to say it sounds like a classic Dears album. Opener "We Lost Everything" is an elliptical three-chord anti-anthem that rolls in like an unstable late-summer storm and leaves a trail of emotional carnage in its wake, but where earlier Dears outings would double down on the darkness, Times Infinity isn't set on dwelling only on life's myriad futilities.
On Times Infinity Volume One, the Dears' songs vary in terms of depth and intricacy, but each is a fully realized narrative, layered with wild intricacy. Murray Lightburn's guitar lines bloom in measured expanses and unspool in frenzied bursts; Natalia Yanchak's fingers dance across the keys like stones skipping across a pond; lyrics burst with secret revelations and wry truths. Not every track is trying to shatter salt-lick hearts.
It’s a mystery why the Canadian alternative rockers the Dears haven’t received the same amount of acclaim as their countrymen Arcade Fire. After all, the Dears have released a string of albums every bit as strong as Arcade Fire, but they’ve never really been able to break through on a large scale. They perpetually bubble under the surface, releasing one great album after another, appreciated by their die-hard fans and critics but unknown to the general public.