Dear Whoever

Sound the Trumpet

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Thanks to the miracles of self-propelling online communities, and the teenage appeal of their emocore sound, Dear Whoever reportedly sold hundreds of copies of their debut EP, Sound the Trumpet, before ever hooking up with Broken Line Records. And, to their credit, the Portland, OR, quintet works very hard at exploring a vast range of emotions in their songs, such as tinkling pianos capably used in "Breaking the Silence with Your Last Breath" but shoddily performed on "We Cry Mercy," or the techno beats incorporated into "Security Without Bounds" and bonus track "A Place for the End." On the other hand, and as is the norm in the screamo/post-hardcore scene, dueling vocals -- both anguished screams and the melodic whining -- provide as much of a tension building and releasing device as a constant headache, as they constantly trip all over each other. Dear Whoever isn't above using tiresome clich├ęs, either ("Tears of Ashes" uncorks the much-feared "I'll die for you" refrain -- groan!), but for teenagers just awakening to music and their emotions, this music may just sound like Led f*cking Zeppelin.

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