Toronto based rock band Dearly Beloved recently released their fourth album Hawk Vs Pigeon which has incorporated some notable structural changes within the band.

Rob Higgins, the base player and lead vocalist has entrusted Niva Chow with a far more dominant role within the band, as her distinctive, or perhaps to be more accurate, unapologetic strident vocals delineate Hawk Vs Pigeon. However, whilst Rob Higgins puts the spotlight on Niva’s raucous vocals, there are sublime moments of softer and intricate mastered melodies, despite the penchant to erupt in a fever of enthralling bluesy rock.

What makes the band and this album so memorable is the magnetic chemistry between Niva and Rob.  The invaluable sort of intense chemistry which produces the most memorable albums and unfathomably iconic artists, such as The White Stripes and The Kills, two bands which shine through on the album as explicit influences.  Jack White himself turned up to their recording sessions at the infamous and legendary Rancho De La Luna studio, in which Joshua Homme recorded the iconic and widely celebrated Hot Desert Sessions

…glam-rock is something that should never be revived…

She and Lizard Fight magnifies Rob’s illustrious and masterful musical talent on the bass guitar. The sort of bass which you could probably feel send tremors right through you to the back of a sweaty vivacious gig venue in the enduring exuberant music scene in Toronto. Conversely, tracks like To Better Days highlight a completely different side to the band, which are accounted for by outbursts of  80s glam-rock/metal riffs, and an AC/DC undertone. Glam-rock is something that should never be revived, or resuscitated in today’s evolving industry. That signature sound isn’t timeless, and with the exception of the odd few guilty pleasures, the nail should be hammered on that coffin. Despite the downward spiral into the unforgiveable clutches of glam-rock, tracks like He’s Waiting reinforces the more earthy, raw and organic Rock ‘n’ Roll nature of the band.  Niva Chow’s vocals are akin to that of Rock ‘n’ Roll empress Alison Mosshart, and the fast-paced, dark, bluesy tinted Rock n’ Roll disposition of the band is that most comparable to The Dead Weather and Queens of the Stone Age.

The highlight of the album is undoubtedly Day Trader which renders a more sinister side to the band through ominous yet entrancing riffs and unearthly synths which overshadow the track.  Interestingly, the title of the album itself has quite the sinister and grotesque backstory. Whilst the band was recording, a hawk and a pigeon yielded the band some unsought inspiration. Chow was recording vocals and a hawk flew into a tree outside the studio window with a pigeon in its grasp, it then proceeded to disembowel the poor bird in front of her as she sang.

…Each individual song uncovers their own distinct personalities…

Hawk vs. Pigeon is infallible proof that they are constantly looking outside of the box, with each song being completely diacritic. Yet the album as a coherent and cohesive album stands strong, which is always problematic for a band who wants to keep it fresh and avoid monotonous repetition. Each individual song uncovers their own distinct personalities, yet the grungy, and revived bluesy tone to the album prevents the album from being disjointed. If you’re a fan of Queens of The Stone Age, Jack White or the likes of The Dead Weather, then this is a band that you should instantaneously divert your attention to.



About The Author

Currently studying history at Royal Holloway, University of London. Music lover, and regular gig attendee. I'll be keeping you up to date with the albums you need to hear, and the gigs you should have been at.

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