Dear Other is a band from Ohio comprised of Marc (vocals/guitar), Rob (guitar), Brodie (bass), Caleb (keyboard), Biggs (drums) and Maura (vocals), Their debut release entitled The Exitus and Reditus of Andrew Darkstar Parrish is a diverse sounding rock album which has some inspired moments and others that fall a bit short.
The lead vocalist at times has a reserved vocal style that feels tongue and cheek. It’s not particularly commanding or aggressive. That’s not meant to be insult but it’s a vocal style that will work better in certain ways. That's one thing that keeps happening where things pan out very well and other times they just miss the mark by a few degrees.
The band opens up missing the mark with “Exitus” which has the spirit of a Celtic punk rock song that would have been best delivered in a Dropkick Murphys kind of way. It starts off sparse and the vocal melody plays like a nursery rhyme or a traditional shanty song. The song attempts to get more aggressive but doesn’t acquire the visceral energy it reached for.
“Exitus” is by no means a failure but just seemed liked it could have been a bit more. Luckily, the band completely delivers on “New to the Neighborhood” which is the best song on the EP. Everything worked on this song and the band seemed to really find their own natural style from beginning to end. The changing vocal harmonies are exceptional. The lead vocals are soulful but when the “neighbors” in tandem sing “Boy you've got to learn some self-control!” it’s pretty fantastic. I was reminded of The Shins on this song. “New to the Neighborhood” is a great song.
The band finds more success but not as much with “The Emperor of Ice Cream.” There is a Ben Fold Five style breakdown as well as a very nice female lead vocal which sounded great. Another nice thing about the song is it has a unique structure, which you often don’t find with newly formed bands.
They close with “The Shadow Met or Reditus” which felt like the most emotionally resonant song on the EP. I enjoyed the rumbling toms and kinetic energy of the song.
Dear Other has a lot of things going for them. The lyrics are very creative and original, the songs are often catchy and creative and the band is technically savvy. You can tell the band hasn’t reached their potential at this point and are still growing into their own but The Exitus and Reditus of Andrew Darkstar Parrish is one hell of a first effort.
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