Posted July 1, 2006 by Mike Mineo in Features

ALBUM PREVIEW: The Dears – Gang Of Losers

I’m sure many of you remember No Cities Left, a great album from Montreal’s The Dears. It was an album released in 2004 that drew much acclaim from critics and fans alike, with a raw and epic sound that made it one of my top ten albums of the year. Their sound reminds me of an odd cross between Oasis and Pearl Jam, with vocalist Murray Lightburn’s deep and occasionally raspy vocals creating a unique flavor. Some people compare him to Morrissey, but I don’t see the similarities. I like his voice though, and it is one of the things that makes The Dears different than other traditional acts of the same nature. The Dears have been around since 1995, but really reached notable success almost ten years after their forming, having been underground beforehand.

The Dears are releasing their new album, Gang Of Losers, next month and their sound has not changed a bit. That is certainly a good thing, and though the band’s lineup changes frequently, the musicians on this album certainly know what they’re doing, much like the last album. The name of the song ‘Hate Then Love’ certainly suits it, with the hippy-sounding “ooh whoo’s” hitting the mark. “All the time is gone, along with everything you love” Lightburn kicks it off, saying those short words in a span of fourty seconds. It’s effective though, and wait until the devastating chorus… are you in love yet? It is definitely my favorite on the album at this point. ‘Ticket To Immortality’ sets the standard for the album as it kicks off with a flavorful and repeated guitar lick, until Lightburn’s powerful vocals set in. ‘Ballad Of Humankindness’ is a bit of a breather after the guitar based frenzies preceding it. I like it though, and the small touches such as the drum crashes, female backing vocals, and brass make it a fun song. After two minutes, it sounds like traditional Dears though, and you’ll remember how great that is. “No one should have to live all of their life on their own,” Lightburn remarks, and the way this album is shaping it, it would be a shame to live without it indeed.


The Dears – Hate Then Love



The Dears – Ticket To Immortality



The Dears – Ballad Of Humankindness



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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].