Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Without knowing them for more than a brief glimpse of the two hours that they spent with us, something that you feel very confident in believing about identical twin brothers, Anthony and Zachary Dewar of The Dewars is that they're savants and that their heads are two mightily scattered heads, with impulses and interests being spread amongst thousands of points at any given second. They're the kinds of guys that wouldn't notice the holes in their socks because they're too focused on other things - everything else and nothing else. They like the Dudley Heinsbergen character in "The Royal Tenenbaums" would be unable to tell time and would insist upon pointing out every dent in the body of a taxicab. If we remember correctly - and there's a chance we're not - we think we remember that one of the brothers attended this taping wearing two different shoes. It could just be our minds running away from us, but it's what we're thinking we remember. They appear to be the kinds of young musicians - the pair from West Palm Beach, Florida is just over the legal drinking age - who slink away to their bedrooms, immerse themselves for a number of anti-social years there - studying LP jackets and learning to play all of the jams on the albums they are fetishizing - and then emerge one pale day later as knowledgeable rock and roll historians of some capacity, with a knack for the stuff and a voice all their own. They've taken in the music, sucked it into their bodies like spaghetti noodles and digested it until they started to develop their own ideas, stories and melodies.
The Dewars is a band whose music - akin to Simon & Garfunkel meets Deer Tick and PT Anderson movies, is full of instability and yet it feels like some of the most brilliantly crafted material in recent memory. The characters that they write are anti-heroes, for the most part, broken, but accepting of the shattered parts. They are creepy pedophiles and others of the sort - most of which feel like intellectually gifted carnies, or men with a literate understanding of their thoughts and actions - but they are fascinating beyond all belief. It might be unfair to suggest that a lot of their characters are lost causes, but it's no matter as they never feel like people you'd turn your back on, no matter what they've done. It's as if they all can pull your compassion from you. They're compassionate and they make you feel for them, as they offer ingenious insights about not just their conflictions, but our own. They find themselves wondering about feelings and love, as if it's a foreign language, but then a story about a crying widow in "Love To Death," provides a slice of singular resonance that couldn't be more gratifying. They sing, "You know you love someone when they're dying/From the sadness inside you/It's why you cry when you see them crying/Cause something's crying and dying in you/So be grateful everyday/Despite the occasion to show your love anyway/And if you're hateful, consider the day/When you lose your loved ones you won't be mad, you'll be sad so be glad for what you had…/You know you love someone when they're leaving/And you only want them to stay," and you feel that they're singing for everyone. They're singing for each other - those brothers, no matter how much they're at each other's necks - and they're singing for people they've never met. They're singing for Joan Didion, following her writing of "The Year Of Magical Thinking." They're singing for those people who feel like they don't get love, like they can't comprehend what it is or what it's for. Even the disillusioned or the lost can get it. It's simple, really.