Hype can be a cruel mistress. For every Royal Blood or Nothing But Thieves who live up to the mounds of pressure piled on them, many more fall at the first hurdle. Wolverhampton’s Dearist are the latest band to land in the hype machine’s crossfire, not least because of finding themselves championed by Thursday / No Devotion frontman Geoff Rickly. It all means that there’s a lot riding on the band’s debut This House Has No Windows to deliver, and thankfully, that’s exactly what it does.
For such a new band, it’s impressive how thoroughly Dearist have crafted a sound all of their own. Usually there’s a lot of flip-flopping between imitations of various influences, but Dearist have taken all of theirs – generous helpings of classic emo, grunge and straight-up rock – and condensed them into a sound all of their own. It’s one that finds itself soaked in brilliance throughout – it’s exactly the sort of music that emo originally encapsulated, but vamped up by a good few levels with plenty of intensity and dynamism. There aren’t too many earworm hooks or flashy choruses, but don’t think that’s conducive with being forgettable – there’s such a level of oomph present throughout This House Has No Windows that trying to go even further would either be overkill or straying into the banal. Indeed, Dearist sound completely comfortable with their sound on this album, and embrace it for all its worth without having to resort to too much of a shift.
To put it a bit simpler, This House Has No Windows sees Dearist embracing their own sound to make it as great as possible. What You Want fuses together modern emo with massive, crunchy Britrock to stunning effect, while the snarling Leecher is a pure-blooded rock anthem with its meaty, heavy riffs and corrosive dual vocals courtesy of Adam Binder and Chris Tucker. The versatility of these vocals is one of the album’s finest features – whereas vocalists can often struggle to match an album’s change of pace, there are no such problems here. Be it in the slamming power of opener Genocide or the hushed sparseness of Blemish, there’s never an instance where the vocals feel out of place with the out of music, something that even some of the most established acts occasionally struggle with.
It would be fantastic to say that This House Has No Windows is the perfect debut, and while in more than a few instances it genuinely verges towards this, it sadly isn’t, mainly because of the tracks Something Unreal and the aforementioned Blemish. It’s in both these tracks that the volume is turned down, and that’s what ultimately become their damning fault. The former, falling under two minutes and attempting a Deftones-esque hushed vocal, feels too lightweight to have even a fraction of the impact of the majority of the album, while the latter just floats along incredibly one-paced and makes little to no impression.
These are mere teething problems though – Dearist are, after all, a new band, and one that has plenty of time to hone their skills into something far greater. Besides, even with these small bumps, This House Has No Windows shows that, even at this early stage, Dearist are a force to be reckoned with. They’ve clearly got talent to spare so that’s clearly not an issue – it’s just a case of getting themselves out there now. And if enough people catch on, there’s absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t fly.
For fans of: Balance And Composure, Lower Than Atlantis, Thursday
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘This House Has No Windows’ by Dearist is released on 25th October on Close To Home Records.