Dearly Beloved | Admission
“CHAOS, TEMPERED BY LOVE AND DELIVERED WITH GREAT FURY. “
That’s the extent of Dearly Beloved’s Facebook bio. And yet it’s all you really need to know about the Toronto band. Compared to Black Flag, Black Sabbath, and The Pixies, the duo of singer/songwriter/bassist Rob Higgins and co-vocalist Niva Chow have been delivering that chaos since 2006, although ‘Admission’ comes with a pedigree missing from its predecessors.
Their first LP recorded with an outside producer (Daniel Rey of The Ramones and Misfits fame, no less) it was laid down at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 on the very same vintage Neve console used for albums like ‘Nevermind’, ‘Rage Against The Machine’, and ‘Fleetwood Mac’.
But that means nothing if the songs suck. They don’t. Not only were some fine-tuned out on the road (another band first), all were rehearsed with Rey for a full week before stepping into 606.
The result: 10 tracks bristling with the relentless, primal energy of a Dearly Beloved live show that sound more muscular, dynamic, and powerful – yet refined – than anything they’ve released before. Like stop-start opener ‘R.I.P.’ with its crunchy riff and seamless interplay between Higgins and Chow, or ‘I Tried To Leave’, which pairs raw punk vibes and shouted lyrics with an instant-gratification chorus.
‘Who Wants To Know’ complements sawing guitars with Frank Black-Kim Deal style spoken vocals, while groove-heavy ‘Blood In The Water’ and nimble ‘Boxing Days’ slow the pace and lower the volume, but ramp up the emotional intensity. Which is exactly what the band were after.
“’Admission’,” says Higgins, “has plenty of darkness, and heartache, but there is also love and empathy.”