Dear You – Faith, Fear, and Hope EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: August 13, 2013
While not being a revolutionary band exactly, Dear You fill my ears with sounds reminding me of bands like Pinsky (whom I miss dearly) and a Four Year Strong influenced The Starting Line – something like that. With summer winding down, I’m blasting all the pop punk jams I can, so Faith, Fear, and Hope sounds great coming through my car speakers in the hot sun.
Speedy opener “Black and White” wastes no time getting you off your feet. The dual vocals, meaty bass line, and rapid-fire drums immediately fill your ears for 2 minutes. However, this is used to the band’s advantage. Once the music slows down except for the controlling bass and drum beat, the lyric “There’s something wrong with the way the world feels at 2AM / It’s like everything that I’ve ever done / Comes around at the same time to haunt me” fills your headphones, making sure you ponder that one. These one-liners continue throughout the EP, with “I’ve Been Hearing Voices” featuring the line “Is it so hard / To create something / That I won’t tear apart.” Simple relatable lines like these are riddled throughout the EP, making this band more than just a fast-paced pop-punk band.
After spending the first two tracks of the EP in rapid-fire city, “If Worries Were Weights” and “With Legs as Long as Roots” do a great job slowing the pace down a few gears. The former focuses more on vocals, and as a result, you begin to truly appreciate the chemistry between Chris Roach and Mason MacDonald. As the guitars pick up, the two play off each other in ideal harmony throughout the chorus. The latter switches from upbeat rocking to more vocal focused pieces, with the only problem being that the repetition of “You’re a liar” coming across as a tad melodramatic.
The band saved the best for last with “The Years Aren’t Moving Backwards,” which has to be the best song they’ve ever written. Vocal layering and tradeoffs, controlled guitar riffs, and pace-keeping drumming all lead to what sounds like a throwback 00’s emo-pop-punk cut. When the track slows down to distanced drumming and building vocals, it picks back up just like you hope, with MacDonald leading the way before Roach tags along. After finishing the track and EP, you begin to want more from this band already. A full length with more development could do big things for Dear You, but until then, I’m fine blasting these five tracks as summer winds down.