The title track to Dovetail's Love Is War EP opens the band's seven-song debut quite well, first teasing listeners with quivering violins, then an undulating piano line. After that? Ah, that's where Philip Creamer's voice comes into play, effectively setting the tone for the debut EP from this local outfit, the latest in a surprisingly long line of pretty-boy rock acts to pop up around town in recent months, screaming for attention on the premise that they have more than just an image to offer their audiences.

In Dovetail's case, its hat hangs squarely on Creamer's vocals. The good news there? Guy sure can sing. That much is inarguable—fans of Muse's Matthew Bellamy's constrained warble will no doubt find comfort in Creamer's even higher-pitched offering. The bad news? Well, you better enjoy ballads. Not that there's anything wrong with Dovetail's balladry—on "Liars," "Over," and the EP-closing "Alexandria," Creamer capably and convincingly bemoans a relationship's end. But, regardless, it'd be nice to see a change of pace thrown in. Only on the EP's first two tracks (the title track and "Get Down") does the band showcase a harder edge—and even then, it only hints at as much.

Perhaps that's what's ultimately frustrating about Love Is War. With Creamer's voice and a group of proficient players to match it, Dovetail boasts an arsenal few acts (local or otherwise) can match. Unfortunately, on this debut EP, all that adds up to is a band that seems more trigger-shy than anything.


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