Lee’s Listening Stack: The Dears ‘Degeneration Street’
Despite a career trajectory that recently exceeded the fifteen year mark, Montreal-based band the Dears never cease to surprise, providing an extraordinary experience with every offering. Every individual album becomes something of an opus, one in which drama and overarched intents lead to sheer spectacle. Leader and co-founder Murray Lightburn sets the standard here, his opulent croon and knack for theatrics serving as the booster for the band’s higher ambitions. Despite the band’s revolving chairs – a sizable number of players have come and gone – the formula’s held for the better part of their lifespan without realizing any kind of declining returns.
To the contrary, Degeneration Street, the Dears’ latest disc, is as extravagant as ever, a blend of swelling arrangements, subtle synths, operatic vocals and percolating rhythms. Consequently, subtlety isn’t exactly the key word here; most of the tracks – “Omega Dog,” “5 Chords,” “Blood” and “Thrones,” to simply cite the first four — literally spill over with an effusive rush of pomp and circumstance. It’s not exactly material of the hummable variety, but the audio impact is still quite formidable. Once again, the Dears produce a dazzler. – Lee Zimmerman
Lee Zimmerman is a contributor to a variety of publications, including Blurt, M Music & Musicians, New Times, Goldmine and Amplifier
This review appears courtesy of Amplifier, 50,000 Watts of Non-Stop Indie Rock http://amplifiermagazine.blogspot.com/