Tasked with following up on the promise shown on last year’s ‘Recovery’ EP, Dream State have delivered tighter song writing and honed in on the hook laden choruses to create ‘Primrose Path’, an album that lives up to the anticipation.
Opening with ‘Made Up Smile’, the quartet delve into lush melodies and a dense soundscape comprised of floating synths and chunky guitars. Armed with a catchy chorus and an abundance of energy, the track not only lays out the group’s style coherently, but also aims ambitiously from the get go.
Following on from its scaling predecessor, ‘Are You Ready To Live?’ injects a punk fuelled burst of melody and grit. With vocalist CJ Gilpin shuffling between a soft and sweet delivery towards a biting and urgent performance, the track pulls between contrasting styles as guitarists Aled Evans and Rhys Wilcox layer the subtle synth melodies with grinding riffs.
At many moments during this LP’s runtime, Dream State successfully marry electronica, crunching guitars and delectable hooks. Not only that, ‘Hand In Hand’ and ‘Out Of The Blue’ show that the Welsh outfit are adept at delivering a metallic edge. With the circling breakdown of the former and the tremolo picking and math rock leanings of the latter, the two proudly display the group’s heavier influences.
As the record reaches its second half, ‘Spitting Lies’ not only harks back to elements shown earlier on, but keeps its finger on the pulse, with drummer Jamie Lee adding a heavy handed swing to the track’s nimble melody and driving chords. Backed up with a stomping and confessional bridge, the track pushes the record forward.
Ending with ‘I Feel It Too’, the group delve deeper into the electronic soundscapes that litter the record. Scuttling between stamping guitars, evolving vocals and crashing drums, the track ends the record on a strong note, and a touchingly emotional too, as Giplin utters with conviction a statement of desperation for a loved one on a path of self-destruction to find some form of safety.
An assured and hungry debut, ‘Primrose Path’ curates the best elements of Dream State into a streamlined collection of tracks. With strong hooks and a tendency to push past what has already been done, expect to see and hear a lot more of Dream State in the future.