Tuesday 29 March 2011

The Dears Are In A Dead End Street

Once they were hauled in as the future heroes of the indie rock scene and they were predicted a bright future. The Dears from Montreal have been around since 1995 and have released their fifth album. They managed to put themselves on the map with the album Gang of Losers and the prediction seemed to come true. But it didn't quite work out and this caused major problems in the band. Meanwhile their lineup changed significantly a few times and only singer Murray Lightburn and keyboard player Natalia Yanchak are the only remaining original members.

The Dears - Degeneration Street (Ronald Says 4 out of 10)
The many changes haven't done them any good. The latest album Missiles already received mixed reviews and they have continued down that descending road with Degeneration Street. The album starts okay with 'Omega Dog' and '5 Chords'. Not really exciting but descent songs indebted to the genre. But after that the record starts to sag and reaches a preliminary low in the weary 'Lamentation'; a lingering ballad that requires a lot of persistence of the listener. On top of that Lightburn's vocals are exaggerated and over dramatic.

After that the album doesn't recover anymore. There are some highlights now and then, but especially the slower songs make the album a bitter pill to swallow. The songs don't last, wander all over the place and sound outdated. The record tarnishes even further with the closing act and title song 'Degeneration Street'. With that the album fizzles out and leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

It is clear that the Dears are on the wrong track. They lack original ideas and the record has no direction. The band is looking for a sound that will work well in the charts but ends up with cliches and outdated arrangements from their golden years. No, it's better to skip this album. It's questionable if the Canadians will be able to regain themselves.

This review has been published on ROAR E-Zine in Dutch over here.

Listen to 'Degeneration Street' on Spotify

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