Saturday, 31 March 2012

Dreamdecay - Fern

Challenging noise from where else but the hub of punk ingenuity, Washington state. Dreamdecay are a Seattle born toast to a doggedly unwavering, touch-warmer-than-death strain of noise rock.

Their five track record 'Fern' floats into being with a blizzard of screaming guitars - a clamorous instrumental race to the beginning of the song that sounds like Earth trying to play a 'Bloody Valentine jam and freaking out under the frustration. 'The Dire and Ever Circling Wolves' with another guitar and a Scratch Acid injection.

On first hearing the vocals I thought they pulled directly from the commanding cries of Michael Gira, yet there's something almost heraldic about these utterances, that kind of touch upon desert splutters and doomy coughs. Praise to the lead singer though, whose post-punk lump in the throat does well to arc over the top of the candle-lit tumult swarming beneath him.

I think the intention with this record is to initially trip up it's listeners, with huge blocks of impassable sawing, screeching fuzz and buried beneath the sand vocals. 'Fern' throws all of it's initial weight behind the idea of testing you as a listener, but comes down hard with lashings of North Western musical heritage to wash away the drone fan's take on rock that you've been struggling to swallow. Tracks II & III do much of what the opening number did, but bake it into four and two minute drone odes to Confusion Is Sex.

'Fern' treads heavily, most often at a lumbering pace, yet ignores the confines of already written Sludge metal and takes convention to task with the bestial assault of the Melvins and a charged post-punk overlay. The now noticeable slacker vocals push a little harder into the skirmish.

Things progress to an almost funereal state by the time the ending track appears, not before track 'IV' gets to flex it's Jesus Lizard without the metal chops with a quickly spun math-y opening that ends up working as the entire spine of the track, holding up a canopy of drawn-out early Swans electricity.

The sheer love for butchering about with feedback and laying off any metallic precision keeps this record constitutionally punk in some sense, but the common feel of 'Fern' doesn't lend itself to anything other than a 'noise' tag. There are passages of ear-splitting doom, vague dream sequences of gazey proportions and even a well submerged predisposition towards the sooty grunge of Mudhoney. Get listenin'

Dreamdecay - Fern

Thanks to Justin of the band for sending this in. You can check out the band's blog here

- Josh

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