By The Dears
Canada seems to be producing some great bands of late with many beginning to enjoy worldwide acclaim, perhaps it's time The Dears got a piece of the action? After forming over 10 years ago you would certainly hope so. Well, there is good news... Gang Of Losers is the Montreal-based band's third album and surely their most endearing and accomplished record to date.
Gang of Losers sees The Dears demonstrate their ability to create pulsating alternative rock drenched in pop harmonies with very colourful melodies and extremely expressive lyrics and vocals. It's pretty clear right from the off that this album would go down a treat on a big stage, but what sets it apart from your standard stadium rock effort is the brilliant songwriting. The lyrical themes are largely based on the more obnoxious sides of social behaviour, perhaps best revealed in songs such as "Whites Only Party".
If you were to liken The Dears to anyone then it would probably be a lighter and more wonderfully melodic Queens of The Stone Age. Even lead singer Murray Lightburn's dynamic and beautifully emotive vocal style bares an uncanny resemblance to QOTSA frontman Josh Homme.
Highlights you ask? There are plenty. Consistency is a term you can undoubtedly apply here, with barely a hint of a weak song throughout the entire 12-song record. Ranking among the strongest songs are "Death Or Life We Want You" which is very QOTSA, so much so that for a moment I was convinced it was actually Josh Ritter and co. at work; "Ticket To Immortality" with its attractive guitar riff; "Fear Made The World Go Round" with its melancholic piano riff & seductive vocals; and "You And I Are A Gang Of Losers" with Murray Lightburn's heart wrenching vocal melodies.
Gang of Losers is unquestionably one of the records of the year, and after a few listens you begin to realise that this record is surely destined for classic status. Outstanding.