Fair warning to the uninitiated: The Dears don’t do radio singles. Only one song in 10 clocks in at less than four minutes, but with Missiles, patience is a virtue. Those weaned on sugar-candy power-pop singles probably won’t get it. The Dears are the chocolate mousse of alt acts: rich, thick, and for those with advanced musical palettes.
This collective is one of the many bad-ass bands based out of Montreal, Quebec, made unique by beautifully voiced frontman Murray Lightburn, who adds soul to his Damon Albarn-like (Gorillaz, Blur) delivery. The group makes melodies that build slowly with repeated lyrics and layered instruments crescendoing to an eventual, cacophonous rapture.
Brit-rock influences shine throughout. Opener “Disclaimer” mirrors the brightness of Manchester’s Doves. “Lights Off” shares — maybe even steals — the dramatic dissonance of Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android.” Some songs drone on too long and miss the mark, but when they hit, Missiles is pure, refined magic.