Release Date: Oct 12, 2004
Record label: Spin Art
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Murray Lightburn, "writer and director" for the Montreal collective the Dears' elegant vocal style, gets plenty of Morrissey comparisons -- and rightly so -- but the Mozz would never be caught delivering a line like "It's the same old plot to these things," from the electrifying "Lost in the Plot," in a full-on primal scream. Lightburn may be a hopeless romantic, but his Canadian version of wine-drunk British doom and gloom owes a great deal more to bands like the Auteurs and the London Suede. No Cities Left, the group's long-awaited follow-up to 2001's critically acclaimed End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, is a sweeping chamber pop nightmare of post-apocalyptic heartbreak.
At times it sounds like Montreal's Dears are on a determined mission to whirl the early Smiths sound through different forms of music. They saunter past Belle and Sebastian, linger at early Roxy Music, stare lovingly at dub and spend afternoons lapping up 1960s pop and Soft Machine-like jazz. Perhaps this is what we should expect from a band fronted by Murray Lightburn, a black Canadian singer who was so obsessed with Britpop that he travelled to London armed with a bag of demos in search of Graham Coxon.