The Dears – Degeneration Street (Dangerbird)

April 4, 2011 by  

I’m slightly ashamed of myself but I had never heard of The Dears up until I heard this album. I wasn’t sure if it was their first, fifth or fiftieth album and knew literally nothing about them. This made it an ever better surprise when it turned out to be, an absolutely fantastic album.

If you’re like me and also didn’t know anything about this band, I found out it was in fact, the fifth album, and that they have been together 16 years. Relative success followed, mainly in home country Canada, but they never seemed to get too popular.

Which is maybe why they can make a fifth album like this. From the opening track Omega Dog to the final track Degeneration Street, you really feel like you’re listening to something great, the latter being especially special. I could easily recommend any track on the album but the main highlight of the album is the second track, 5 Chords. Haunting vocals and some wonderful lyrics will make you reach for the repeat button.

There are many similarities throughout the band. It’s easy to compare lead singer Murray Lightburn to a Canadian Morrissey and there are also similar sounds to Blur frontman Damon Albarn. A couple of tracks throw out similar sounding styles to Arcade Fire and Elbow, although it may well be that those bands are influenced themselves by The Dears, what with them having been chugging away for the past 15 years, relatively unnoticed.

It’s not a perfect record, not many are. The instrumental track in the middle is slightly strange and a couple of the tracks do drag on a little bit, however if you like any of the bands mentioned, then I would highly recommend listening to this wonderful album. If you don’t, I’d advise you to give it a listen anyway.

I hadn’t heard of these up until recently, but I don’t think I’ll be forgetting them any time soon.