10 years and going strong is an impressive feat for any band. Canadian punk quartet Dearly Beloved are onto their fifth studio album, and they show no sign of holding back with latest release, Admission.
At just 34 minutes long, you’re taken through a whirlwind of grunge, with varying tempos and raw energy, inspired by the bands 14-day recording session in Dave Grohl’s Studio 606. Over the ten tracks you can sense the wreckless abandon in their style, but their experience transforms it into a familiar ensemble of punk attitude.
It’s surprising how much noise two people can make, as proven by the highlight of the album, ‘I Tried to Leave’. The chorus intertwines the duo’s vocals to rock perfection. The lead single is the definition of short and sweet. If you even make it that far anyway. The band threatens to blow out your eardrums with the opening song, ‘R.I.P.’. Thumping basslines, screaming ‘R.I.P.’ down your earhole. Doesn’t get much better for a punk album.
The intense rock gets pushed to the back with ‘Boxing Day’, which dials back the tempo just as you think you’ve figured out the band’s game. You feel like you’re being rocked to sleep by the lullaby-esque vocals and subtle indie rock vibe. Right up until you get floored by the return of exactly what you knew was coming, a climatic finale.
‘When You Had the Choice’ is the embodiment of grunge on the album, reminiscent of the early Seattle scene. The rise in tempo after the previous track returns you to the rock trademark you came for with the Toronto band. Right before closer, ‘Future Shock’, which ends the solid album on a flat line.
The dual vocals of Rob Higgins and Nina Chow bring a fresh take on punk rock, even after 10 years. Admission lets you in to the pure passion behind the band, channelled through some truly explosive tracks.