Originally published in Boyd Street Magazine on October 21st, 2008.

Terrible band name pun aside, Dear and the Headlights released an under-heard folk rock gem last year in Small Steps, Heavy Hooves. Their followup, Drunk Like Bible Times, seems like a retread of their debut, albeit with cleaner production and a tighter sound.

On the first track, “I’m Not Crying, You’re Not Crying, Are You?” the band slowly builds through the verses only to explode during the chorus, which sets the template for how most of the songs on the album operate. Right away the folksy guitar tones and riffs from Heavy Hooves are very much present here too, as are the stomping keys and vocal melodies. It’s all just a bit too familiar. It’s not until the closing song, “I Know,” that the band really mixes it up. The tune starts off slow and somber but by it’s end it’s almost party-like with it’s hand-claps and gang vocals.

Drunk Like Bible Times
features strong songwriting and musicianship in catchy, memorable songs, it’s just a shame that the band didn’t try to deviate from their debut a bit more.