The Dears: Degeneration Street

You see, The Dears were among the first bands to popularize what has become a viable Montreal indie rock sound. The released their first album, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, in 2000 -- four years prior to Arcade Fire's debut. Lead by the enigmatic vocals of Murray Lightburn, The Dears have now released their fifth studio album, Degeneration Street. Picking up where Gang of Losers -- not 2008's misstep Missiles -- left off, Degeneration Street sees the band in a glorious return to their more uptempo, rock-driven roots. While The Dears can sometimes get side-tracked by their grandiose ambition, Degeneration Street proves just how astute an indie rock band they truly are. 

What the critics are saying:

Montreal Gazette: Mostly, Degeneration Street has places to get lost in. Repeated listenings continue to reveal new layers, but the immediate, epic quality of the songs - a make-or-break factor for Dears devotees - isn't compromised.

Rolling Stone: Yet musically, the LP is a shuffle mix: "Galactic Tides" is an End-time prayer done in Thom Yorke falsetto, "Yesteryear" a Motown strut with choir and harpsichord.

Spin: A corrective after 2008's overreaching downer Missiles, this Canadian band's fifth album heads back to the big, Brit-inspired sounds of 2003's No Cities Left.

Entertainment Weekly: Singer Murray Lightburn's somersaulting pipes soar over a tangle of brawny guitars, and while their tense theater-rock evokes everyone from Coldplay to Arcade Fire, the Dears are expert practitioners.

Degeneration Street is out now via Dangerbird Records.

Enjoy this bonus video of The Dears performing "Blood" from last Friday's Late Show with David Letterman:

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