Dear and the Headlights
Drunk Like Bible Times


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aaron USER (7 Reviews)
October 30th, 2008 | 19 replies | 6,977 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: And if it ain't what you had pictured then yeah that sounds about right

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

I assumed Dear and the Headlights would drop off of the face of the Earth. Yeah, sorry for the sentiment, but you know how it goes, the band has a breakthrough, smashing album and then just kind of doesn’t ever produce much of anything after, and if they do it’s always put down as being the ‘retarded cousin’ of their former creation. I figured Dear and the Headlights would follow in this trend and just fade into the ether after making that one album that would define them. But, for some reason or another, Dear and the Headlights put out Drunk Like Bible Times, a goddamn smash-bang of a sophomore album, having everything a pop album should, and a little bit more.

Dear and the Headlights is really just Ian Mertzger singing and 4 other people supporting his vocal line; honestly, the instrumental aspect of the album is a very fine showing, but it’s nothing you’ll have not heard before, although it is definitely a necessary component to keep things interesting. Dear and the Headlights shines in its vocal moments, though, and there are enough great moving, sing-along moments to make this album very, very enjoyable. I’m Not Crying. You’re Not Crying, Are You?, the opening track, is definitely his most powerful vocal performance on the album, and consequently the best song; at just 2:57, just 6 seconds from being the shortest track on the album, I’m Not Crying is a masterpiece for Dear and the Headlights. It’s perfect pop under a great, great vocal performance, with some interesting lyrical blathering that seems to be Metzger’s own reflections upon his career:

Quote:
Then the howls and moans pour from the black
and it's a sea of blank faces straight to the back
Aggressively mediocre in every single way
Yet you're the only reason that they came
The final crescendo and finale of I’m Not Crying is downright spectacular; from Metzger’s vocals to the beautiful danceable guitar-drums celebration at the end.

With the best moment of the album already gone in the first 3 minutes, one might feel like not wasting their precious time on the rest of the album. Well, I strongly suggest against it; even though it’s not as great as the first track, the next 11 are still pretty damn good. Wiletta is the ideal slow, mournful ballad, while Now It’s Over is a perfect, pounding outcrying of emotion. Try is perhaps the most successful and unsuccessful track; what was a boring acoustic guitar/vocal duo grows into a beautiful lazy pop-rock piece and transcends into a great performance with Mertzger’s cries of “And toasting new beginnings saying sorry I thought it would work!” to finally regressing back to that same dreary acoustic line, leaving a bitter ending to what could have become a sweeping, grand track on par with I’m Not Crying. You’re Not Crying, Are You?. But some things are just too good to happen twice on a record. I Know leaves the album on a high note, however, featuring not only the necessary hand-claps to make this a fantastic and familiar pop album, but also containing the only other vocals in the album that aren’t by Mertzger; the gang-choir spouting their lines along with Ian is a really sweet, appropriate ending without being too cliché or chokingly sugared.

But the album has a few flaws, namely with its acoustic parts. While Wiletta and Flowers For My Brain don’t become watered down by their acoustic introductions, it does become apparent that, even though this is an almost one-singer show for Mertzger, the rest of the Dear and the Headlights gang should not be forsaken, mostly because their presence helps to keep some semblance of flow to the album and allows Mertzger’s emotional appeal to be accentuated by the dynamics of the band. Along with Try’s lackluster finale being a snooze, Parallel Lines can be skipped altogether, because while it does feature, at first, some interesting guitarplay, the song begins to lull into an almost sleep-inducing tune.

However, don’t let one rotten track spoil the record; Drunk Like Bible Times is an almost consistently excellent pop record, if a little bit familiar. Mertzger’s a good singer, and the band is a consistently above-average indie-pop group, and the combination of the two creates some spectacular moments. Drunk Like Bible Times is one of 2008’s better pop records; I didn’t expect it, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise.

Dear and the Headlights are:
Ian Metzger - vocals, Guitar
Robert Cissell - Guitar, Keys
PJ Waxman - Guitar
Chuckie Duff - Bass
Mark Kulvinskas - drums



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user ratings (70)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
JokesorInsults
October 30th 2008



244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Honestly I'm Not Crying is really fucking good, it's surpassing Trains to Brazil as my favorite indie-pop song.This Message Edited On 10.30.08

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2008



17920 Comments


i was gonna review this once i got around to listening to it but good job. like i said i still need to listen but hopefully it'll be good.

JokesorInsults
October 30th 2008



244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dunno if it beats their first, but it's still really good.

botb
October 30th 2008



9648 Comments


band completely ripped their name off the dear hunter.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2008



17920 Comments


they are both awful names.

JokesorInsults
October 30th 2008



244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

at least it doesn't have bear in it

Kiran
Emeritus
October 31st 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Re-listening now but last time I listened to this I didn't get much out of it other than a decent indie pop record

JokesorInsults
October 31st 2008



244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The first track bumped this up to a 4 for me, otherwise I would've given it a 3.5

Distance
November 3rd 2008



113 Comments


i never heard this band but i think my band played a show with them. i just had to say that.

Bleak123
November 3rd 2008



1902 Comments


which would suggest you have heard them? ;)
i really liked their first album, hopefully this'll be good too.

foreverendeared
November 3rd 2008



14678 Comments


i never heard this band but i think my band played a show with them. i just had to say that.
next time you feel the urge to share something like that again, just shut upThis Message Edited On 11.03.08

Bleak123
November 3rd 2008



1902 Comments


i never heard this band but i think my band played a show with them. i just had to say that.

next time you feel the urge to share something like that again, foreverendeared will rearrange your face.


foreverendeared
November 3rd 2008



14678 Comments


damn straight

Bleak123
November 3rd 2008



1902 Comments


lol

Distance
November 4th 2008



113 Comments


dang i wanted to say more things to make everyone jealous but i guess i won't anymore.

Society Sellout
November 9th 2008



292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Saw them last night. They put on an awesome show. I've gotta say I was blown away by how much power their new stuff had live. I like their first album a lot better but the intensity that they put into the new songs live is forcing me to give the new one a few more spins.

Ubicuo
August 29th 2009



56 Comments


i loved their 1st album. felt like they tried to get away from the sound of the previous on this album, which is understood. there is still a couple tracks on this 1 i got on the playlist.

Arecibo
March 16th 2011



18 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not as good as their first CD, but some of these songs are just too golden to pass up. Wiletta and Try really pull at the heart strings

Obfuscation24
July 22nd 2011



3939 Comments


these guys just broke up



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