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Saturday, June 24, 2006
  The Dears - Gang of Losers
well well well. what do we have here.
the very adorable people that are The Dears are putting out a new album in a bit (August 2nd), called Gang of Losers and we have the chance to check it out before it's available for purchase.

i haven't listened to it very intensely, but i'm doing the same thing as i did for Oneida and putting them up definition-style. remember kids, buy it when it's released, please. here you are, song and first-listen comments:

::::The Dears - Death Or Life We Want You
immediately i'm caught up with the use of cowbell. alex appreciates the good use of it moreso than i, and so i note it more for his sake than mine. i do like the highlight of it, though, the minimal instrumentation around it. the chorus has some interesting voice distortion to harmonize with lead singer Murray Lightburn’s vocals. also, is that a kazoo i hear? this song is essentially interesting and not that bad (remember: cowbell) but i wouldn't run to my neighbor's house and bang on their door about it. i don't even know my neighbor.

::::The Dears - There Goes My Outfit
i chose this song specifically because the band is allowing downloads of its demo at their label's site. admittedly, i didn't spring for the demo, because having the real thing seems to eclipse that. this song as a slow beginning that rises with classic "na-na-na" vocals. insistent piano plunking follows into the first verse, and the song continues to progressively build. it's a little 90's pop-rock, only with the attention to detail that only six people in a band can bring. ending choruses bring back the na-na-na, which layers over Lightburn's

::::The Dears - Whites Only Party
i'm immediately, immediately attracted to this song, from its very first two seconds. great riff coming in, great knee-slapping lead (in minor. delicious) and even a perfect lead-in with the vocals (maybe i would have preferred a longer lead-in? the notes are just so great). i like the down-play of what is usually almost too big for the sounds around it - that being Lightburn's voice. much like Roderick's voice of The Long Winters, Lightburn has such a unique tonality to his voice that its usage is hit or miss. in my humble opinion, i think Roderick has it down a little more than Lightburn. should i have said that? probably not.

::::The Dears - Ballad of Humankindness
another great start with vocals. it's a longer song, so they set out to accomplish more here, and i think they do. the lyrics stand out to me, especially in regard to the track title - "No one should have to live all of their life on their own." hey, sounds good to me. even at 2 minutes, when they burst out and Lightburn rips it, so to speak, it works. it really does. i get into it, it's ripe in the middle, doesn't fizzle at the end but triumphantly scores and stops. it's good. the best i've heard on the album, i think.

The Dears hail from Montreal, and their tour doesn't leave Canada or Europe-side for now. but you can bet it will.

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