The Dears – Degeneration Street

Few albums this year will match up

Such is the intensity of producing a Dears album, that the band reaches breakpoint at every conclusion. 2008’s ‘Missiles’ collapsed the band, yet the result was a vastly underscored masterpiece of tension, trauma and artistic detonation. Shatteringly beautiful yet painful, it was impossible to see how the band could ever rise to greater heights.

Three years on and Murray Lightburn has rekindled former compatriots and infused a degree of restrained bliss! Lyrically, there remains despair, yet tinged with an air of optimism. Yet it is within the complexity of the music that the band has always provided the greater spectacle. Lightburn has become a leading contemporary songwriter, fusing together words of anguish, a suitably pained vocal style and a musical backdrop that is always in waiting to take a song to a higher plain.

‘Degeneration Street’ fits the mould well and is an articulate piece of work. The former influences have become diluted and the band stands as its own protagonists, inventive for sure but flirting with commercialism en route. Few albums this year will match up to the level of proficiency and commitment here and yet it remains a distinct probability that the world still won’t listen. An album that will shadow most others.


Words by TC

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