Oh, dear. Degeneration Street is an awful lot of music to absorb at 14 tracks and one hour in duration. There’s not a lot of cohesion with bombastic over-the-top melodrama on tracks like “Omega Dog” and the title track. With their influence of Bowie and Pink Floyd, it’s as if The Dears have lost their musical identity and simply channel everyone else’s sound. As each track leads into another, not much brain wracking is needed to hear who is being emulated – Morrissy! Bryan Ferry! Thom Yorke! There is also a formula going on with a song starting moderately before becoming a churning, swirling, ball of noise. It is true there are six people in this band, but they’d sound better blending rather than trying to outshine each other.
However, all is not lost with a handful of standout tracks such as “Thrones,” “Yesteryears,” “Easy Suffering,” and the bossanova-tinted “Unsung,” which help redeem Degeneration Street.
At 14 songs, this release would have been better if they trimmed the fat a little, narrowing the track listing. Instead, the better songs might get overlooked due to some of the filler material.
A band with over 15 years and five albums should be able to produce something for their fans much better than the self-involved grandiosity that is Degeneration Street.