Skip to content

The Dears, ‘Degeneration Street’ (Dangerbird)

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. Singer-guitarist Murray Lightburn still shoots for Smiths-like profundity and emotional resonance — there’s talk of God and bearing crosses — but this time he’s got the hooks to back it up: “Thrones” brims with passion, as Lightburn alternates between a bold vocal melody and an angry shout. He also luxuriates in a slow jam (“Lamentation”) and fondly looks back even further than the ’80s (“Yesteryear”).