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Dearly Beloved / You Are The Jaguar

28-Aug-2006 01:41 am Contributed by: Anonymous Music Reviews
10 Track CD
Label: Kindling Music
© 2006 Kindling Music / Rocket Science or MySpace
Listen Listen to The Butler Routine
Review by: Chris Marley
Enema Rating:
Simply put, You Are the Jaguar, the debut album from Toronto’s Dearly Beloved, showcases ten tight, melodic pop songs that are almost all under three and a half minutes. Revelling in familiarity, the opening riff of the first song The Ride sounds like it might have been taken from a Nirvana song like, say, Lounge Act, and then morphs, with background female vocals, into something not dissimilar to what you might find from a recently popular Detroit band like, say, The Von Bondies.

Most songs teeter on the cusp of exploding into loose, frantic, blues based freak-outs, but one foot still remains anchored in safe, harmonic melody and song structure. Just one visceral noise explosion in the Stooges tradition was what I craved – constantly threatened, but never materialized. This tension results in the majority of songs being immediately engaging as they build, but then lose their poignancy with predictable breakdowns and songs that don’t quite deliver on their initial thunder. Where this tension becomes most effective, however, is on the slower songs. The Butler Routine, an easy standout, juxtaposes lazy surf guitars with a driving, slow drum beat that builds to satisfying crescendo. Additionally, the great closing track Noise Submitted to Order menacingly crawls along with distorted vocals and sinister guitar, but at just over two minutes is more of a teaser, and is criminally short.

There is something likable about this band, intangible and beyond the nostalgia of their sound. Well played and well written, You Are the Jaguar is definitely enjoyable but does not quite deliver on the obvious potential. This cat has claws and teeth, but for now is just not threatening, much less dangerous.


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