THE DEAR AND DEPARTED
SOMETHING QUITE PECULIAR
Coming from the uber-hip Orange County, CA area by way of Australia, the quintet known as The Dear and Departed boasts some friends in high places (co-producers Chris Vrenna from NIN and AFI's Jade Puget) and convincingly dons its dark rock influences prominently on their sleeves. If AFI and The Cure decided to collaborate and add a dash of '80s new wave strewn in for good measure, chance are those songs would have the big beat of "To Cut a Long Story Short" or the whimsical dance in front of the mirror punk vibe radiated from "Masquerade". While much of this 14-track disc is slightly on the Gothic rock subdued side, there's enough fist in the air rawk like "Fly Me Away" to permit those not wearing all black to join the procession.