Dear Tonight – We’re Not Men

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Dear Tonight

We're Not Men - Red Leader Records

Dear Tonight‘s 2005 EP, These Are Wires, came and went with little impact on me. The chaotic nature of the release sparked my interest a bit but only slightly and it was, for the most part, a rather forgettable release. Now, two years later, the band is back with their debut full length album, We’re Not Men; and unlike their EP, We’re Not Men is definitely leaving an impression on me.

Throughout the past two years, Dear Tonight have evolved and improved on their sound ten fold. The record is still chaotic and unpredictable but there is a certain raw intensity that ties the whole record together. Raging vocals pour through the speakers while the technical aspect of it brings up visions of old school DC hardcore acts. The guitars are heavily distorted and chug their way through the songs while the drumming is equally as disjointed and spastic. It’s a fiery record that bridges the gap of Rites Of Spring and Fugazi with Lifetime along with a heavy Refused influence – especially on the mind blowing Flags Hang High

Despite the caustic rapture delivered through nervous intensity, the most astonishing feature in We’re Not Men is the self-deprecating introspection portrayed by the earnest lyrics. Opening up with the raucous yell of “You have too much faith in us!” in the song of the same name, Dear Tonight set the tone of the record from the very go. Questioning themselves and the ideals they are meant to live by, We’re Not Men sees the band attempting to discover who they are and discovering they are less than expected. All The Silver (featuring the soothing vocal harmonies of The New Dress‘ Laura Fidler) and What We Do In The Dark are songs about heart and doing what you want to do even if no one is there to listen. We Aren’t Doing It is a self-addressed letter to a younger snot nosed punk and Dead Boys tells the story of a emotionless zombie. It doesn’t stop there either as they delve deeper into the psyche of the human race and society with scathing political attacks brought on through Broken Golden Rules, What We Love Not Are, The Ends, and By Ballot or Bullet. Lyrics like “We call Homer a myth because he based actions on Gods; we look at Al Qaeda like cretins because they kill for Allah; and we elect a president who invokes Christ with a gun. If hypocrisy is beliefs minus actions, then there are some long hard miles of answering to do, and a ways to run on our hands back to zero” is only a miniscule example of what to expect from the band.

Despite what they may say in What We Do In The Dark, people are listening to them. They are rejuvenating the way hardcore should be presented and even though this isn’t normally my style, I can’t pry myself away from the record. There is a burning urgency within me to play it over and over again. Sophisticated, intelligent, passionate and chaotic, Dear Tonight‘s newest effort is a refreshing burst of energy in an otherwise stagnant scene. Raw and uncontrollable, dueling vocals and spastic instrumentals, poetry spewed out with volatile energy, unparallel technical skills, We’re Not Men is not for the light hearted and it may take a few listens before it really sinks in; but once it does, it’s there to stay.