Dream On Dreamer – Heartbound
What can I say about this band? Honestly, their name wasn’t one I was at all familiar with, so after putting their debut album ‘Heartbound’ on I took to the Internet to learn something about the band. Their Facebook informs me, as part of an extensive bio, that they are a post hardcore six piece from Melbourne Australia, and that, amongst a bunch of other accolades, they have recieved 29,000 likes on Facebook. Apologies for having to start on a negative note, but I hate, hate, hate bands, heck people, that cling to these things like some sort of social barometer. I don’t care how much time you’ve spent on the internet, is your music any good and can you play a tight live show?!
Unperturbed however, I jump feet first into ‘Heartbound’ in an attempt to be less cynical. Dream On Dreamer’s music isn’t exactly what I’d think of when it comes to post hardcore. They play a mix of metalcore (the Bring Me The Horizon kind, not the H8000 kind) and melodic rock, alternating between sequences of beatdowns and singy sections which all together sounds not too dissimilar to bands like Underoath. Although the market for this sort of highly polished metalcore is huge these days, I wonder if bands like Seven Angels Seven Plagues had any idea what would spawn from the new breed of melodic, progressive influenced metalcore bands they fronted a decade ago.
To be frank, I don’t think this album is at all aimed at my particular cross section of ‘alternative’ music, so I’m not sure how insightful I can be on whether or not it breaks any crucial new ground in the genre, but I suspect the answer to that would be no. Dream On Dreamer lurch between the contrasting styles of their music in a way that seems quite awkward to my ears, the chugging beatdowns and screaming vocals sounding misplaced next to the clean singing and keyboard sections. However, I should imagine that there’s literally thousands of misunderstood young teenagers all over the world who will really dig this sort of thing, and given the bands big money management, expect to see them headlining a seven band European tour soon. Question is, how many of those aforementioned kids will just get into one of the hundreds of other bands playing virtually identical music?Back to reviews overview
Can we please get rid of the “This is fashion music for angsty teenagers” thing? Sure, there are a lot of bands out there like that, but there also some pretty good one’s in the genre. Like there is no artistic merit in making this kind of music or something. It may not be your thing, but that does not make it bad automatically
I (at the age of 33, go figure) tend to like some of these bands quite well. I just listened to this band for the first time and they sound fine to me. A lot like Greely Estates, with even more melody. Sure, not very original, but the breaks and styleswitches sound fluid to me and not strange at all.
So a 4.0 seems pretty harsh. SWNK should perhaps not review bands like this at all, because few people here will like them anyway and people are so fucking biased towards these kind of bands to begin with.
End of (slightly alcohol induced) rant.
I’m going to defend myself on this one, as I feel you have somewhat answered your own issue there. ‘Fashion music for angsty teenagers’ wouldn’t be an unfair label to give it I’d say if you were to look at an average cross section of the bands listeners and the particular fashions they choose to associate themselves with, along with the bands whole image and internet ‘persona’. It might not apply to you personally, but it sure does to the vast majority of their target market.
At no point, do I think I’ve been unfair to DOD in that review, as given that music is subjective, there’s always going to be a variety of opinions when someone hears it, and I feel it is clear when I am voicing my opinion in the review. Naturally someone else is going to listen to that record and score it a 95, but it did nothing for me (and wouldn’t for the majority of people reading this site, I’d bet), so the score I gave it reflects that. Surely that’s better than I give it a high score?
I do agree with you, however, that we shouldn’t review a lot of this kind of music here, but variety never hurt anyone did it?
No need to defend yourself, I meant no harm. 🙂
The rant above was not even aimed specifically towards your review.
I just have a problem with reviewers stating this is music for ‘a target demograpic’. This indicates that this is fabricated music just made to cater to a certain audience’s taste and that it’s artistic merit can be dismissed. Sure, there are a lot of bands out there that may work this way, I’m just saying it’s weird to automatically assume this is the case.
Again, I’m talking in general here, not about this specific review. I just checked a few songs by this band and did not do extensive research on them. Just saying that a 4.0 for me personally sounds a bit harsh and I did get the feeling that you dismissed the band almost automatically because you don’t like the music they make. Besides it not sounding right to you and not being very original, you do not specifically state what you think is so bad about it. I personally think an objective reviewer can write a positive review about a record in a music genre he absolutely hates, just based on the (artistic) merits of the record. But I understand that is debateble and somewhat of a ‘choice’.
Stating this is just music for angsty teenagers to me is just as silly as stating hip hop is just for black people.
To me, bands like this appear to dismiss a lot of their own artistic merit with their reliance on heavy promotional campaigns and all the other trappings of being a ‘big’ metal band these days. There’s something distasteful to me about the way the music is only a small factor in terms of success for those sort of bands. It’s far more corporate than it needs to be for ‘underground’ music.
Obviously, that’s my own opinion affecting the out come of a review, I tried to remain as objective as I could with the record, but opinion’s essential to form the core feel of the review, surely?. Music can’t be analysed on purely factual basis, reviews would become pretty dull!
Admittedly, I don’t follow this particular ‘scene’ closely at all, but there are a few bands within the genre that I listen to. Given my limited frame of reference, I felt that Heartbound didn’t do anything I hadn’t heard a lot before. Bands like this are ten a penny these days, so while there’s nothing essentially wrong with the Heartbound, that doesn’t automatically give it grounds for a high score, so I gave it what I thought was average.
As far as I’m concerned objective reviews don’t exist, since everyone has an opinion. If you mean you prefer reviews purely sticking to the facts (aka the “let’s copy the biography” reviews), I don’t care for those either and when we approached people we even said that, do not write reviews like that.
This record was send to us, so they wanted our opinion. They got it. And to give you an idea Rik, we got like 5 more of these kinda records that we skipped on, so we’re not reviewing them all. But now and then we might pick one out and give our opinion. This time it wasn’t positive, maybe next time it will be. We’re no monsters 🙂
The point I basicly wanted to make in my rather incoherent ramblings above is that I fail to see what the way a band is marketed has to do with the quality of the music they make. I imagine most of these bands just starting out in someones garage like any other band.
And it’s not like ‘real’ hardcore is free of hyped up bands.
But thank you guys for responding in depth on my nightern blahblahblah, haha. Appreciated.
“Artistic merit” 😀