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Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Dears - Degeneration Street

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Montreal natives The Dears are back with their fifth studio album Degeneration Street. The band has regrouped after losing members before and during the recording sessions of their last album, Missiles,  and they are better for it.

 As a whole, this is still a The Dears album. The brooding undertones go throughout the album, but  there are so many more up-beat tunes than on their last outing. It also seems like the lead singer Murray Lightburn listened to Pulp’s back catalog before starting this album as there are influences of Jarvis Cocker throughout.

’5 chords’, the second track on the album,  is one of those more upbeat tracks. As the song builds and builds  Murray belts out “I will always love you” and he actually sounds happy about it.  ‘Blood’ is a more driving tune that has a hint of Queens of The Stone Age while ‘Yesteryear’ has a Strokes feel to it.  Both tracks show that the band is adding more variety and depth to their repertoire. In fact the whole album has an entirely more accessible “mainstream alternative” feel to it. This is not a bad thing by any means. The Dears seem to be trying to expand their fan base as well as just trying something new, and it seems to be working.

Everyone in the band does their job and then some as, from start to finish, this is a tight well played album that keeps you wanting more. They can attribute a lot of their new sound to working with producer Tony Hoffer, who has produced albums for Beck and Phoenix (to name a few) and really gets the band working together and sounding great.

For those fans of The Dears that love their tunes sad and dreary don’t worry. Tracks like ‘Lamentation’, ‘Torches’ and ‘Galactic Tides’ lean towards the old The Dears sound people are expecting to hear, with moody heartfelt vocals, fuzzy guitars and building choruses. This may not be The Dears album that some were expecting but who wants to same thing over and over again. The Dears seem to be growing and heading in a new direction and if, in the end, it helps to get their songs into the ears of more people, that’s a good thing. Fantastic stuff!

The Dears Website!

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