Dear And The Headlights

Dear And The Headlights

Dear And The Headlights

Small Steps, Heavy Hooves

Equal Vision

Somewhere over the course of the last five years, it’s become acceptable to call certain third-rate 1990s bands like Counting Crows and Third Eye Blind influences. These bands weren’t even cool when they had hit singles, yet somehow our younger brothers and sisters grew up confused into thinking that because these bands were sharing charts with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and R.E.M., they somehow were a huge part of the ’90s scene. Not so, my young friends. Counting Crows were just a few steps above Hootie & The Blowfish on the scale of cool.

Arizona’s strangely titled Dear And The Headlights seem to have fallen into that confusion, and their debut album, Small steps, Heavy Hooves, sounds awfully similar to August and Everything After –even down to the strained aggression of Ian Metzger’s vocals. This is distracting and almost unsettling enough to make me give up on the disc, but then these grand Coldplay-esque piano crescendos come in and DATH rise out of the ash to become something promising.

There are plenty of throwaway songs on this Bob Hoag (The Format) produced release, but hidden among them are a few gems: “Sweet Talk,” and “It’s Gettin’ Easy.”

Dear and The Headlights: www.dearandtheheadlights.com

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