I think, as House of Love are, according to me, one of the classic late 80s/early 90s guitar bands whose quest for world musical domination was thwarted by the rise of grunge and/or dance/techno/druggie shit - oh, and the fact that guitarist Terry Bickers and singer Guy Chadwick hated each other and vowed never to play with each other ever again.Thankfully, they made up, and by all accounts this gig proves it was worth it. They were fiercesomely blinding when I saw them in 1990 (on the second round of their touring for the second album - Cloud saw them around the same time: I think they were the first band we'd both been to see, albeit before we met.)
As for The Dears, I have to say that 22: The Death of all the Romance really, really stands out from their most recent release No Cities Left. I've played that particular track repeatedly, recommending it to friends, and it still gets me going. Hope it's not too much of an insult but it reminded me of the wonderful track Twelve Reasons Why by the sadly now demised and largely despised band, My Life Story. I've probably a greater tolerance for the sort of faux-Smiths/Morrissey inspired stuff that The Dears produce than Cloud has, but either wayI think the band offer some fine tunes and lyrics. And you can't say fairer than that.