Gang of Losers (Arts and Crafts)
Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., Nov. 10, 2006
Gang of Losers (Arts & Crafts)
Out of nowhere, heavily orchestrated Montreal band led by married couple turns in a stunning album about isolation and loneliness. Hmm ... sounds strangely familiar. Yet as time ticks away for the Arcade Fire to follow up Funeral before the fickle indie rock public forgets all about them (two years and counting ...), the Dears and Gang of Losers will do quite nicely indeed. Close vocal kin to Britpop stalwarts Thom Yorke and Jarvis Cocker, frontman Murray Lightburn is an expert moodcaster who riddles his somber melodramas with pinpricks of optimism and humor; "There Goes My Outfit" is as sad and gorgeous as any song this year. Meanwhile, the Dears ride far afield from their chamber-pop roots, incorporating slash-and-burn rock ("Death or Life We Want You"), nimble bluegrass ("Whites Only Party"), and even smoky noir-jazz ("Find Our Way to Freedom") into Losers' eclectically dark palette. A haunting disc that lingers long after the laser dies.
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