In my review for Dearly Beloved’s debut (You are the Jaguar) my lasting hope was that vocalist/bassist Rob Higgins could keep it all together for a sophomore record. And by some act of God or the band’s own thrust for world rock dominance, Higgins (alongside vocalist Niva Chow, guitarist Damon Richardson and drummer Hayden Menzies) have banged out an intoxicating follow-up that should have throngs of screaming rock fans at their door.
Like Jaguar, RepoRepoRepo is rooted in dirty, indie-dance rock, but what makes this record so different are the tight and fiery live performances captured (check out choice cuts “Candy Coated,” “Dress it Up” and “When Slow is the New Fast”). It’s these genuine acts of musicianship that shock the aural senses into submission and leave the listener with a far more satisfying aural journey then your standard radio rock band. But before you start thinking Dearly Beloved are one-trick ponies, let me warn you that Repo is not one huge dance party. Tracks like “Acceptance Corporation,” “Fire Escape” and album closer “Bit My Lip” are all darker, with slower grooves, weird keyboard breakdowns and a mesh of swirling guitars.
Dearly Beloved’s Repo is a solid rock record that won’t revolutionize the rock scene but is a welcome diversion from what’s commonly featured on MuchMusic. To add to all this good news, Dearly Beloved are already working on their next full-length and gearing up for a cross-Canada tour.
(Warner Music Canada/Kindling Music)