Album Review: Dear Landlord – “Dream Homes”

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It wouldn’t be fair to say that Dear Landlord’s “Dream Homes” went unnoticed in 2009, but it certainly didn’t make as big a splash in the pop-punk scene as it probably deserved to. With great hooks, singalongs, and a tremendous sense of fun, this album should have been at the top of every pop-punk fan’s list last December.

Right from the get-go, “I Live in Hell” tells you what the tone of this record is going to be like. Smirking sarcasm emanates from every line like “I live in hell with the drunken Christians/They’re away from their parents for the first time/They can’t take it.”

Zack Gontard of Off With Their Heads fame and Brett Hunter from the Copyrights trade vocals, which gives the album a nice blend of the gruff Minneapolis sound with the slicker Illinois appeal. Short and sweet tunes like “Goodbye to Oakland” and “Doormat” pack a lot into a little time, while super-melodic songs like “Landlocked” really put the “pop” in “pop-punk.”

The only complaints that a pop-punker could have about this album is that the highlight track “High Fives” already appeared on Dear Landlord’s superb split with Off With Their Heads, albeit recorded at different times.

Go pick this album up if you’re into pop-punk at all, especially if into bands like Off With Their Heads, Dillinger Four, and the Copyrights. Chances are it won’t disappoint.

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