Animated Fun with Dreamend

Artist: Dreamend

Title: So I Ate Myself, Bite by Bite

Released: 2010

Label: Graveface Records

Format: 12” LP animated picture disc

Genre: indie rock, alt rock, shoegazer, lo-fi, folk rock

I ordered a large box of stuff from Graveface in 2010, shortly after the label literally had pulled itself out from a flooded building in Chicago.  I reviewed Dreamend’s “Maybe We’re Making God Sad and Lonely” back in May of 2011 and I had plans to follow that up with a review of this release.  Of course, it never happened.  I saw something shiny and off I went, forgetting my plans and creating newer lists of what would make it up on the blog.  But Dreamend is one of those projects I really do love and I knew I had to get this post up here sooner or later.

First of all, let me ramble on about the layout and packaging.  The vinyl edition is simply gorgeous.  It’s a picture disc, but the artwork is drawn in such a way that it creates an animated clip as it plays.  You’re given a scope of sorts with instructions on how to use it so you can easily view the animation as the record plays.  That alone almost makes this vinyl worth buying.  That’s just pretty darn cool.  Take a look.

And obviously, you have the music.  Dreamend’s a part time guitarist for Black Moth Super Rainbow as well as a member of The Marshmallow Ghosts, so you can kind of imagine where the tunes might take you.  The structure reminds me of BMSR to some extent, but, here we’re treated to a lovely blend of folk and indie experimental rock.  This is the only place I know of, aside from BMSR, where you can have a banjo being artfully plucked alongside flowing synth, odd looped samples and dreamy vocals.

What kind of sets this apart from earlier releases, like “Maybe We’re Making God Sad and Lonely,” is that is just seems a little more upbeat.  Heck, the opening track features a metal vibraphone, and it fits in so well here.   And as we move into track two, “Where You Belong,” we get some spoken word bits before the rather infectious vocals kick in.  I don’t recall seeing something like that pop up in Dreamend’s earlier works.  Many of the tracks here are a glistening blend of psyche folk and indie rock, chuck full of brilliant plucked banjo, twangy strings, rich chords and simple yet sweet, well-crafted vocals.

From start to finish, this is an amazing record.  It isn’t often I get something spun on my turntable that I automatically want to spin again and again.  Dreamend, with its roots spread out in various genres but sprouting into a brilliant light of its own, is astoundingly refreshing.  It is something to be heard.

Should you buy this?  Fans of Dreamend’s older material will not be disappointed.  If you’ve been curious about getting into Dreamend but have hesitated, this is the album to dive in with.  If you’ve been a fan of Graveface Records, there’s no reason not to pick this up.  In my opinion, it is best to grab this vinyl edition as there is some bonus material tossed in between tracks that is not present on the CD.  And of course, the vinyl is a picture disc with animation.  It’s just beautiful.  It’d be best to grab it soon as only a limited number were pressed (first 500 were numbered).  Grab it! Go!

5 out of 5.


About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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