Music Reviews

Dear John Letters



I’m not sure what type of music this is supposed to be. It sounds kind of like folk rock played with loud guitars, sort of in the same way that The Beatles created their songs. I guess it could be said that Dear John Letters are the indie rock equivalent to Oasis, in that both bands rip off The Beatles. Where Oasis admits it, I’d be willing to bet that Dear John Letters would scoff at the mere insinuation of plagiarism. Nevertheless, this is a bunch of Oasis-ish Beatles cum Neil Young generic folk rock tunes that make me want to sleep.

Lead vocalist Robb Benson uses Neil Young as his main influence, as he tries to do that “push your voice out of your nose” thing, especially on tracks like “Out of the Park,” a slow dreamer of a song. On the songs that rock a bit more, he seems to go for Wayne Coyne’s (the Flaming Lips) vocal delivery style, which is pretty sweet.

“Pandora’s Box” is probably the best of the bunch; it rocks on so different levels. The drums are frantic and spastic, the guitars are not distorted, but they’re overdriven, making for a nasty tone. At a couple of different points, the guitarist employs a chorus effect that makes his guitar sound like it belongs on Radiohead’s O.K. Computer. The overall feel is exuberance and excitement.

However, the sad fact is, Unbroken is just a boring alternative jangle pop album, something of which the world already has plenty. Dear John Letters is not a bad band, it’s just that their music seems nothing more than a carbon copy of things already done; they seem to not be inspired musicians. If I want to hear this type of stuff, I’ll stick with the originals.

Roam Records:

Recently on Ink 19...

Best of Five

Best of Five

Screen Reviews

Not everyone can be excited by blocks spinning on a screen, but if you are, Ian Koss recommends you pay attention to Best of Five.



Event Reviews

Jeremy Glazier shoots a CAKE headline show at McGrath Amphitheater.