Dear Future | Can’t Wait Any Longer (s/r)

cd_dear-future.jpgCan’t Wait Any Longer serves as a soulful, passionate and remarkably assured statement of purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s notable when a first encounter with a local band makes an immediate impression, for the act to feel surprisingly mature and ready for a larger stage. With their latest EP Can’t Wait Any Longer, Dear Future quickly shows off a sound much bigger than the small town footprint of Pinckneyville, Ill., and does so with palpable enthusiasm and gusto.

"Eden" and the driving "You Are Loved" bristle with the fervent energy of the earliest U2 albums, infusing post-punk jangle and reverb with an epic, building hard rock twist. Guitarist Wes Chandler’s powerful and melodic lines suggest an atmospheric yet motivated fusion of The Edge and Counting Crows’ David Bryson. "This Isn’t Good Enough" explodes with a statelier, far less self-important take on vintage mid-’90s Live, while the title track bounces along on a smooth bed of electric piano before shifting into an effortless chorus, full of irresistibly echoing guitar. These songs’ sounds are typical of the glossy studio sheen that coats the EP. However, it’s not to the record’s detriment; rather than neuter the songs, it only serves to enhance their hook-laden, widescreen appeal.

"Hold On" channels Muse, retaining all of that band’s attractive pomp and grandeur and incorporating a particularly explosive performance from the rhythm section, while wisely jettisoning Matt Bellamy’s junior high sci-fi nonsense. Frontman Brandon Ross possesses a soaring, precise voice; he’s effortlessly able to impart the confidence and swagger this type of power rock requires. Yet he’s also surprisingly intimate, bringing to mind a significantly more self-assured Chris Martin or Keane’s Tom Chaplin. Unfortunately, "Twenty" closes the disc on its least distinguished note. An earnest, but fairly generic piano ballad, it’s by no means bad, but it exemplifies Can’t Wait Any Longer‘s few faults: somewhat clumsy lyrics and an over-reliance on an increasingly tired post-Coldplay modern rock sound. These criticisms barely hurt Dear Future; their songwriting skill, honesty and lack of pretension easily overshadow weaknesses that would handicap less talented groups.

Although Can’t Wait Any Longer displays little diversity or inventiveness, it serves as a soulful, passionate and remarkably assured statement of purpose. It establishes Dear Future as a noticeably talented band with tantalizingly large amount of room to grow. A- | Mike Rengel

RIYL: The first three U2 albums; Live at their most focused and without the messiah complex; the idea of Coldplay with balls; Muse, if Muse was actually bearable in any way

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