Dark and melodic, The Dears sing with sorrow

Alfredo Madrid

The Dears, a Montreal-based indie rock group, recently released ‘Missile,’ an album that overflows with melodramatic symphonic sounds accompanied by sulky lyrics. The charismatic frontman, Murray Lightburn, has a lugubrious performance in this latest recording.

The music and lyrics deal with depressing themes and the album delivers a regretful message. The fifth track, ‘Lights Off,’ implores the companionship of an estranged lover. Lightburn hums: ‘Five in the morning, you know we couldn’t sleep / Might be inspiration, but it’s been this way for weeks,’ over an orchestral background.

Toward the end, after an upbeat middle section, an organ emits creepy sounds as the tempo slows and Lightburn pleads: ‘Turn out the lights and just hold me tight / Sleep through the night, could you / With me?’

On the sixth track, ‘Crisis 1’amp; 2,’ the anguished and lonely voice reappears. Lightburn sings: ‘Gonna make my way to the railway track / there’s a train comin’ soon and I can’t look back.’ There is a crescendo, making the pace gets faster and the music louder. The music and words are not soothing to the spirit.

The album’s final song, ‘Saviour,’ catalogues a suicidal person’s monologue. ‘Spirit’s been crippled/ and feeling a little/ a little run down, a little run down/ Could blame the devil/ he gave me the shovel/ to dig my own grave,’ provide the listener with an eerie feeling as the album closes out.

Lightburn is aware of his shortcomings as a human as he notifies the listener, ‘yes, I am a sinner.’ At the end, there are a series of gunshots fired, presumably one of those striking the crooner.

The album has a strong bluesy feel to it. The sullen themes and overall dark mantra are not suitable for all listeners. If you want uplifting, inspiring music stay away from The Dears’ latest project.