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Album Review: Sonder by Dearist

Wolverhampton quintet Dearist release their second album Sonder on 27th April via Spartan Records. “Coming from Wolverhampton is both a blessing and a curse” sums up drummer Jimmy Taylor, “Wolverhampton was once voted the 5th worst city to live in the world. On one hand it sucks that we live in this dying city where nothing ever happens and where there is no music scene. However, on the other hand, because there is nothing going on in our local area, it has always forced us to go and look for music from every corner of the globe and from different eras. Those records then find their way into our songwriting. You’ll find nods to 90’s alternative like Oasis and Stereophonics, you’ll hear influence from 2000’s emo like Bayside and Taking Back Sunday, but then we’re trying to mash that up with something more modern. Something you maybe haven’t heard before.”

It’s a near perfect summation of the sound of Dearist. It’s familiar but fresh, an invigorating old friend, an album that you fall in love with immediately.

A true DIY band, not only does singer Adam and drummer Jimmy take on the recording side of the band, but guitarist Lee shoots and edits all the band’s music videos. There’s an endearingly genuine and real sound that emanates from the core of Dearist. There’s no pretence, no airs and graces – just five guys creating great music that they love.

‘Front Matter’ and ‘Beaches’ ease you into the album, hinting at the quality about to come. Decent alt rock tracks with big hooks, but it’s on ‘Fool’s Heart’ and ‘Drowning’ that you start to fall in love with Sonder. Both are huge instantaneous alt rock banger that are not only catchy and immediate but connect with the listener. This is how alt rock should be done. Superb.

With the tempo slowed down on ‘Demuto’, Dearist showcase their knack for a brooding harmony before the track explodes in a cascade of riffs and impassioned vocals. It might be the tried and tested quiet-loud-quiet-loud template but my word they do it well. ‘Essex 1820’ finds the commonality in us all and ends up becoming a life-affirming, triumphant track before ‘Part of You’ revels in emo tinged lashings of alt rock goodness.

‘Half Light’ is one of the heavier songs to grace Sonder (even though it makes use of the quiet-loud-quiet-loud template) and stands out as one of the more impassioned and relatable tracks. Team those sumptuous riffs with that vocal and you’re onto a winner. ‘Shame’ is straight out of the post hardcore top drawer, while ‘Pentonville’ has hints of Title Fight before closer ‘Colours’ injects a burst of life into proceedings with another dose of immediate alt rock.

Dearist have pulled it out of the bag here.

AD Rating 8.5/10

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