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Dear Landlord - Dream Homes (Cover Artwork)

Dear Landlord

Dear Landlord: Dream HomesDream Homes (2009)
No Idea Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: mikexdudemikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Punknews sure was stoked when Dear Landlord announced the release of their debut Dream Homes; almost every news story was littered with off-topic, bearded and/or drunken comments drooling over the band's infectious choruses and their three proverbial, punk rock chords. In the words of my conscious c.
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Punknews sure was stoked when Dear Landlord announced the release of their debut Dream Homes; almost every news story was littered with off-topic, bearded and/or drunken comments drooling over the band's infectious choruses and their three proverbial, punk rock chords. In the words of my conscious colleague Brian Shultz: "You'd think 24 Hour Revenge Therapy just dropped." The hype really isn't warranted and could serve only to ultimately fuck Dear Landlord over like it did to the exclamatory Floridians (and once No Idea band) Against Me!. When looking at Dream Homes rationally, you have an incredibly engaging listen that wears Crimpshrine and Screeching Weasel influences proudly on its sleeves.

Without delving in too much of a back-story, Dear Landlord and I squeezed ourselves into the same un-finished basement late last year. I hadn't heard much besides their pedigree -- Rivethead and the Copyrights -- so I decided to pick up their splits with Off with Their Heads and Chinese Telephones, their only releases prior to Dream Homes; the musical breaks in "Three to the Beach" and the harmonies in "High Fives" would constantly run through my head. So after a riveting live performance, you could say I went into this record with some hefty expectations. But as expected, Dear Landlord's Dream Homes doesn't disappoint. That alliteration ruled. This record is 14 tracks of melancholy disguised as fun, upbeat numbers that beg to be sung along to. But frankly, that's all it is. I can't quite feel the emotion as hard as I could like with Off with Their Heads' self-deprecating masterpiece, From the Bottom, but the band makes up for this with just some of the most memorable melodies you'll hear all year; "Bong"'s verses and "Landlocked"'s hook are certainly some of the more immediately grabbing moments of 2009. It's also a nice addition that they reworked my two favorites from the aforementioned splits.

Right out of the box, Dear Landlord hits you with "I Live in Hell," utilizing the band's many vocalists and their anthemic qualities, rhetorically asking: "What does your dream home look like?" It hits a certain memory of seeing the four of them, ducking to avoid hitting their heads on the ceiling lined with piping, and the energy that was brought that night. It's safe to say that the energy exerted is just as powerful on Dream Homes as it was live.

Paying close attention to location, Dear Landlord seem to find a comfortable common ground between Berkeley and Chicago. "Landlocked" sounds straight Ben Weasel with his endearing nasal, while if you replace "do you still hate me?" in place of "goodbye to Oakland" in the song of the same, it would work just the same. Despite having some of those obvious influences and all the members being in established bands, Dear Landlord's identity lies in their unique and rousing approach to vocals. "Last Time I Checked" is their best performance with trade-off shouts and some great harmonies topped off with gang vocals.

After a decent anticipation, I'm quite happy with the product. It really isn't worth the hype in the long run considering its simplicity and sometimes lazy attempt at lyrics, but Dream Homes sucks the listener on first spin with catchiness and fun, making it a shoo-in to my Top 10 of 2009.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RBanner Pilot - CollapserThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseIron Chic - Not Like ThisJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Menzingers - Chamberlain Waits

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
MuhammadMormon (September 3, 2011)

This album sucks balls.

riginalangsta (March 7, 2011)

deadxlast - couldn't think up another good rhyme and just said, "ah fuck it!"

that rules though

ak3punk (November 19, 2010)

Solid album, can't wait for he next one.

ecafkciD (July 27, 2010)

This band is yet another reason why I'm so fond of Minneapolis and the punk rock scene up here. Come check it out!

withoutbellson (July 15, 2010)

forgot score

withoutbellson (July 15, 2010)

this WOULD have been the best album of 2009 but they reused High Fives!! other than that it's perfect.

10feettall (June 13, 2010)

This album rules! Reminds me a lot of Banner pilot

renton (May 19, 2010)

I love this record!
I saw them yesterday, fucking great show.

RondoMondo (December 27, 2009)

My favorite cd of the year. Pop-punk perfection.

ak3punk (November 25, 2009)

Just found out about it a week ago. Thank god!!! It will be a late addition to the year end list for sure. This album/band kills. I can't believe I just found out about them...

taargus (October 8, 2009)

billy was playing this at the triple rock one night and we stopped what we were talking about and listened. i will seek this record out.

deadxlast (August 18, 2009)

Super catchy, but impossible to listen to all the way through if you actually pay attention to the chord progressions. They are nearly identical throughout in every song. I think were good pretty well, though like mike said, sometimes it feels like the band couldn't think up another good rhyme and just said, "ah fuck it!" and used a lazy rhyme.

drugmoney (August 12, 2009)

I haven't heard any other record better this year. such a kick ass record!!

MyStereoHasMono (August 6, 2009)

Score is for the record

cheddar (July 24, 2009)

jaw dropping melodic punk... love it, love it, love it!

raveneffect (July 20, 2009)

This album is so killer,easily my favorite of 09 so far. A World That We Never Made is my favorite song on the album.

GlassPipeMurder (July 20, 2009)

the union of Minneapolis and Chicago is nearing completion!!!

xshoutoutx (July 20, 2009)

"Better than the shook ones, that's for sure."

...I love this band, but not a snowball's chance in hell!

Grue (July 20, 2009)

Better than the shook ones, that's for sure.

justinhangsout (July 19, 2009)

Fuzzy- Dream Homes > Make Sound
but they're both sweet.
I like Dear Landlord a lot more than The Copyrights.
& this records great. I'd say it's a fair review, I'd give it a little better score but I pretty much agree. A BIT overhyped, but a solid record nonetheless.

mattramone (July 19, 2009)

@onegirlarmy

I'm just picking on Mike. He's basically my little sober brother.

onegirlarmy (July 19, 2009)

Killtaker: It may appear in his year-end list because he personally enjoys the music. It received the score it did because the score is an objective rating of the album's technical merit. He recognizes that it's really nothing special or ground-breaking, he just happens to enjoy it quite a bit.

This.

Props to you sir, you nailed it right on the head.

onegirlarmy (July 19, 2009)

This album didn't have enough breakdowns for mikexdouche, but it's okay. He loves his friends like family, and takes a stand with integrity.

Clearly you don't pay attention if you think Mike only listens to hardcore.

Michael_Berryman (July 19, 2009)

oh shit. i found the download code last night. it was in the record sleeve.

mattramone (July 19, 2009)

This album didn't have enough breakdowns for mikexdouche, but it's okay. He loves his friends like family, and takes a stand with integrity.

xshoutoutx (July 19, 2009)

I agree Mike, good review, however I have to give it a solid 4

thornsoflife (July 19, 2009)

I have probably listened to this disc no stop for almost 3 weeks.
INCREDIBLE release, every track is fucking killer.
amazing.

waitingroom (July 19, 2009)

Good Album. Good reviewer. Good review. Good.

mikexdude (July 19, 2009)

Not to be too critical but what I feel is really going on here is that mikexdude is trying to have it both ways. He loves this and raves about it but somehow is above everyone else who is praising it, therefore setting himself above the average listener. Maybe I'm wrong.

It's a great album, but I don't mean to be pretentious. I just wish people would be a little more realistic towards music and not ruin it for everyone else because of their extreme views of it.

mikexdude (July 19, 2009)

7/10 is a good score. Some of my favorite albums are technically 7's but I'd score a 754670876. When you review, you're writing to an audience of many different tastes and backgrounds, not writing a fan letter to the band. It's pop punk.

Also, I didn't score it down because it was overhyped. I mention overhyping because the org is famous for putting bands up so high and then just dropping them. I don't want Dear Landlord to suffer the same fate.

Fuzzy (July 18, 2009)

I like the reused riffs from "Make Sound" best.

randomhero323 (July 18, 2009)

Great record, horrible review.

skankbook (July 18, 2009)

It's a solid debut full length, and a surprisingly good review.

MN_punkmaster-skaman (July 18, 2009)

Good job sir.

ZombieRicardo (July 18, 2009)

LOLzzz, score is for lintsay's comment.

I, for one, agree with the review. Good band, a little overhyped.

onegirlarmy (July 18, 2009)

The hype around this is getting a bit tiresome, but I'll get over it because this is a good record.

Every time it ends I just wanna listen to it all over again.


Agreed. I think the band/record are both excellent but not the second coming of Jawbreaker.

DirtyPHooker (July 17, 2009)

Mine came with a download code Berryman, and all that other shit

cr0mwell (July 17, 2009)

anyone else keep waiting for The Misfits - Hate Breeders to kick in after track 2s guitar intro?

DarrenMcLeod (July 17, 2009)

Good album. You can definitely tell that there are members from the Copyrights involved.

danielsan (July 17, 2009)

hospitals>this>from the bottom

TommyPickles (July 17, 2009)

Love it.

Fuzzy (July 17, 2009)

Your average record that you like is a 7/10. Unless you're Chris Moran - then it's an 11/10.

lintsay (July 17, 2009)

Score is for the blowjob mikexdude's mom gave me last night.

inagreendase (July 17, 2009)

Dear Reviewer: This will be in your top ten but only has a score of 7/10...that is almost a failing grade

You can't compare review scores to academic grading. It's two completely different things. 1 is absolute garbage, 5 is mediocre and 10 perfect/classic. That's how it's always been.

mclz (July 17, 2009)

this record is fucking amazing, i am stupid for not doing the no idea pre-order and not getting the bonus 7"

sleepwalker (July 17, 2009)

Very good album. Top 10(so far) for sure. Better than From The Bottom, at the moment. Much better than any Copyrights.

foolsgold (July 17, 2009)

Listened to this constantly for about a week, which rarely happens with me. Definitely in my top 10 for this year so far. Fan-fucking-tastic.

ddb43 (July 17, 2009)

Very, very solid but not as good as From The Bottom...that shit is gold.

Michael_Berryman (July 17, 2009)

anyone know if LP comes with download code?

mine didn't! but it did come with a poster. 2 stickers, some sort of alternate cover slip and a Heartbroken Handshakes 7". so i guess that's fine.

LawnDay (July 17, 2009)

Good review Mike, even if I disagree on a few points. The hype is bad, it's true, but that's the internet. See gaslight, against me, etc. This thing for me is that this is a great fucking pop punk album, and a hell of a summer record. I don't know if it's fair to compare it to OWTH lyrically, it's not really a depressing or self deprecating record generally, it's a much more celebratory affair. We're punk and we like it songs.

CBSrocksteady (July 17, 2009)

fuck that noise. Castevet is still #1 no doubt. but this is good.

Xbat-miteX (July 17, 2009)

I liked the record a lot. Not album of the year and defiantly not in my top ten, but a good listen through and through.

I am however really sad that tonight I have to pick between seeing:
Swingin Utters, Off With Their Heads, and Dear Landlord
or
Desolation (Last Show Ever), Abrupt, Acts of Sedition (who get my top ten every year since they formed), Population Reduction, & Aceaphalix.

As much as I wanted to go to the first, it is $15 bux plus it's in in SF (and FUCK SF) , and a spot on the guest list for a last show has got to win over a band you haven't seen before. So Sad, but I'm sure Dear Landlord will be back.

killtaker (July 17, 2009)

Blackjaw_x: I kind of disagree with you. You state that the stars are the "Objective rating of technical merit"? Record reviews are, by their very nature, subjective. If the star system is based on technical merit do you mean in terms of production, songwriting, musicianship, originality, some combination of these things, none of them, or what? If a record is packed with awesome songs shouldn't it get a high rating.

Not to be too critical but what I feel is really going on here is that mikexdude is trying to have it both ways. He loves this and raves about it but somehow is above everyone else who is praising it, therefore setting himself above the average listener. Maybe I'm wrong.

Blackjaw_x (July 17, 2009)

I still can't listen to more than 5 songs of this without changing it. I understand why this album is a 'contender for album of the year' to most of the people on here, but it certainly doesn't come close for me. I guess this kind of stuff just isn't for me. I didn't go into it with any expectations either, besides hearing a few songs on their myspace before it came out and thinking it had potential to be a good record.

wallofyouth (July 17, 2009)

nevermind, interpunk sez it does. stoked x2

wallofyouth (July 17, 2009)

excited to see them tonight and buy this record. anyone know if LP comes with download code? definitely want to play this all the way on the drive from caifornia to chicago, and my dashboard record player just broke

Blackjaw_x (July 17, 2009)

Killtaker: It may appear in his year-end list because he personally enjoys the music. It received the score it did because the score is an objective rating of the album's technical merit. He recognizes that it's really nothing special or ground-breaking, he just happens to enjoy it quite a bit.

oldpunkerforever (July 17, 2009)

notfeelingcreative, album of the year so far begins and ends with Aggrolites ( so far) we still have a few goodies left to come out tho-oldpunker-

Scarysmurf (July 17, 2009)

The song referred to as "Bong's" is really called Rosa.
I can see someone only listened to the Punknews stream..

Score is for Rosa Parks. And the album. The song has nothing to do with Rosa Parks. I dont know why I said that.

kneel (July 17, 2009)

this record is fantastical.

i don't understand the reviewer's critical score, only 7.5/? seemingly because it was 'overhyped'? whatever. shit is good.

and the lyrics are not lazy at all.

Blackjaw_x (July 17, 2009)

Oh, my world. It is ok.

elufo (July 17, 2009)

This record has been the soundtack to my ride to work for the past 2 weeks. So so good.

telegraphrocks (July 17, 2009)

"I like the Copyrights better."

This.

killtaker (July 17, 2009)

Dear Reviewer: This will be in your top ten but only has a score of 7/10...that is almost a failing grade. The thrust of your review is that this is a great record but gets a lower review because people are hyping it and it isn't worth the hype even though out of every record released this year it will be in the top ten of all releases.

What?

telegraphrocks (July 17, 2009)

When I first heard this I just listened to it on repeat for days and days. Since then, I haven't been able to listen to the entire thing in one sitting.
Though there are some severely great songs here ("I Live In Hell", "Last Time I Checked", "Three To The Beach", "High Fives"), there are several others I can't stand listening to anymore, mainly out of "cheese-factor" ("Rosa", "Whiskey And Records", "Lake Ontario", "Doormat").

About 2/3 of this has pretty good staying power, the other 1/3 not at all.

The 7 is dead-on.

notfeelingcreative (July 17, 2009)

Contenderfor album of the year thus far in my opinion.

TahoeJeff (July 17, 2009)

Only 3 1/2 stars?

That's fucking retarded and Mikexdude knows it!

655321 (July 17, 2009)

Every time it ends I just wanna listen to it all over again.

This.

LinoleumMagazine (July 17, 2009)

Love Love Love Love Love!!!!!! Probably the album I've played the most since I got it. I'm dying to see them live.

abracadaver (July 17, 2009)

Score is for "Goodbye to Oakland." Goddamn, I love that song.

14theroad (July 17, 2009)

This is one of those records that snuck up and surprised me. I've heard of this band for over a year now and never checked them out. I can't find anything wrong with this.

Irish_Punk_Is_Gimmickry (July 17, 2009)

Surprised No Idea didn't sit on this record for 2 years like all their others. I like the Copyrights better.

Dante3000 (July 17, 2009)

Score is for self reference.
-Dante

nocigar (July 17, 2009)

this record is awesome. very catchy, i like this better than OWTH actually.

Problematiclogic (July 17, 2009)

The hype around this is getting a bit tiresome, but I'll get over it because this is a good record.

Every time it ends I just wanna listen to it all over again.

dinosaurs (July 17, 2009)

Super catchy, three-part vocals, fast songs, good times, this has it all...the fun of summer contained in 14 tracks of audio recordings...

facetofacereunion08 (July 17, 2009)

i really liked the chinese telephones split...havent heard much else

oldpunkerforever (July 17, 2009)

good reason, and again, great, fun CD-oldpunker-

kaibosworth (July 17, 2009)

Don't understand the low rating here, but whatever. This album rules and is everything it was hyped up to be - catchy, anthemic pop punk. Minneapolis wins again.

The reason you hear a lot of OWTH is because zack is in both bands.

thus_spoke_sean (July 17, 2009)

hahahahah, mke, I've noticed you playing with smaller alliterations, congrats on finally getting a real one in there.

655321 (July 17, 2009)

great album!

oldpunkerforever (July 17, 2009)

Love this, I hear alot of OWTH in this, or maybe its just me, who knows. What I do know is that its catchy as hell, good job guys-oldpunker-

bryne (July 17, 2009)

I'd give it an extra half-star, but pretty dead on.

24hourpriapism (July 17, 2009)

that sounds about right. it's a good album, and a great effort for a debut. it's certainly still in the top 5 of '09 for me in terms of passion, catchiness, and a few genuinely great songs. but certainly not the second coming of whatever.

hobbzoid (July 17, 2009)

I think this is a great record.

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