The Dears: “Gang of Losers”

Following up 2003’s extremely successful “No Cities Left,” the Montreal based band The Dears, release their third full length album, “Gang of Losers” on October 3rd from Arts & Crafts Records. Although vocalist Murray Lightburn has been the only constant member of the band since their formation in 1995, The Dears’ sound has stayed true to gritty, ethereal, and honest indie-rock. “Gang of Losers” begins with the delicate and instrumental track, “Sinthintro.” From there, the album progresses into “Ticket to Immortality.” This track kicks off the album with repetitive and catchy guitar hooks and Lightburn’s vocals that are comparable to that of Morrisey’s. “Death or Life We Want You” features a more garage rock sound and deals with the concept of feeling left out and ostracized with lyrics “nobody wants you, but we want you” shouted in the chorus. Sticking with the theme of alienation and searching for oneself, the track “Hate Then Love” exemplifies those ideas perfectly. It is a beautiful and extremely devastating track that begins with catchy “ooohs” and transitions to Lightburn preaching about self love and respect with the lyrics “just don’t hate everyone ’cause you hate yourself/and you’ll hate everyone ’til there’s no one else/I believe I believe I believe in you.” On the tracks “Fear Made the World Go Round” and “You and I Are a Gang of Losers,” the album loses a bit of momentum. These tracks are slower and have more of a blues feel to them than others on the album, however, they allow Lightburn to showcase his vocal range and allow him to reach out to the listener. “Gang of Losers” regains it’s momentum on the drum-focused “Whites Only Party” followed by “Ballad of Humankindness,” a piano-driven, jazz influenced song dealing with self revelation and a need for change. The album closes with “Find Our Way to Freedom” which starts off as ethereal and ambient, but ends with a collision of guitars, drums, brass instruments, and echoing vocals. “Gang of Losers,” while aptly titled considering the theme, is an album that should not be overlooked. The Dears combat indifference and speak out to the inner fear of being alone that is within all of us only to reassure us that, like them, “we’ll find our place in the world.”