Dearly Beloved at the Windmill
Dearly Beloved take to the stage with that frazzled and desperate energy of a band at the finishing line of a dense series of tour dates. The Toronto-based noise/post-punk band exude the sweat, adrenaline and borderline delirium that smacks of too many hours crammed in the back of a tour van together, too much service station junk food, and nowhere near enough sleep.
But that’s par for the course for the workaday rock band, right? The band scarcely ever seem to register the modest turn-out on this damp and increasingly brumal Wednesday night; instead the bassist/singer tells us that this tour “has restored his faith in humanity”, which would seem more than a little phony were it not for the fact that he looks quite so spent and road-weary.
The music itself is taut and febrile, lead from the front by a muscular bass, and with dual male/female vocals that provide an end-result reminiscent of The Kills. There’s scarcely any extraneous fluff about the songs that come charged with a genuine ferociousness and urgency, sounding like a hybrid of punk in the vein of Black Flag, droning stoner rock as per Queens of the Stone Age, and the propulsive abandon of Motorhead.
The guitarist seems a little too eager to tick all the posturing “rock star” boxes – one foot on the floor monitor, air-punching, almost embedding the neck of his guitar in the low ceiling of the Windmill – but maybe I’m just suffering from an over-exposure of miserabilist rock bands looking as though they’d rather go through root canal surgery than be on stage.
The penultimate title track of their new album Enduro offers a promising dynamic departure into the more grimy, feverish climes of a band like A Place To Bury Strangers and bodes well for an album recorded (according to their website) “in ten maniacal days” in a Joshua Tree studio.
This is an impressive band making an impressive noise, well worth keeping an eye out for when they eventually roll back into town at some point in the future. For now though, as the encore dissolves into a blizzard of distortion, they look relieved to soon be heading home.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about Dearly Beloved and future events visit here.
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