Dear + Glorious Physician - Dear + Glorious Physician (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dear + Glorious Physician

Dear + Glorious Physician (2006)

New Granada

Pop-inflected indie rock á la Pixies meets Mission of Burma probably sounds like the best idea ever for a couple of you. For me, it means a pretty good collection of emotionally varied, somewhat eccentric songs that don't quite leave an everlasting mark on me, but do provide an entertaining half-hour.

The nine songs on Dear + Glorious Physician's self-titled album make you wish the band would depend upon their dynamic chemistry between Charles Westfall and his sister Jillian (two more Westfalls [on the rhythm section] make it a family affair, by the way) more; it's a male-female one-two sparking interest at every use, especially in numbers like "Spooky Action" and "Frenzy (What Happened to Them)." Instrumentally, the guitars are moody and textured when they aren't busy dropping out, but sometimes a little brighter and twinkly ("A Whiter Machine").

Except a decent number of quirks here and there, too, though I guess that makes sense considering the comparisons at hand. In "Behold the Man," the band breaks for a little reference to "When the Saints Go Marching In," and Charlie seriously sounds like Aaron Neville; whenever I hear that part in the song I just imagine Horatio Sanz gently smearing cocoa butter on his face. Charles bears that similarity in "Frenzy" a bit, too, a near seven-minute affair ringing with a catchy guitar riff and a tight beat.

If Dear + Glorious Physician was any longer, I'd probably be pretty bored with it, but at a tidy 34 minutes it's a nice, easily endured and head-shaking listen.

Spooky Action
Behold the Man
Frenzy (What Happened Then)
Kublai Khan