Listening to a one-man dream put into motion with five souls can be an otherworldly experience, and that’s exactly what you get from Thunder/Dreamer’s self-titled EP Thunder/Dreamer. Mastermind Steven Hamilton wrote the EP in its entirety, and brought Gary Martinez, Alex Wallwork, Zach Zint and Corey Greenfield on board to transform these solo pieces into band originals. The EP has five songs that tips its hat to bands like Grizzly Bear and Local Natives as the music contains non-traditional chords structures and makes good use of juxtaposition between its different elements.
One of the first things that jumps out at you on this EP is the soulful influence, particularly in the opening track “Now We Know” and heavily evidenced in the crooning vocals throughout. At the heart though is a steady, heavy rock tone that carries the entire EP. The mood lightens up a little bit with the instantly memorable "Can't Whistle At The Phone" which contains some great lead guitar work and some of the catchiest vocal on the EP. The subtle vocal harmonies during the chorus are a nice touch as they add a subtle texture to his vocals during the verse.
On tracks like “A Place Like This” the guitar has a steely edge, consistently and potently toeing the line between sorrowful wails and intense, bone crushing scales. The bass is clear, solid, and impacting, playing the perfect mellow complement to the sometimes frenetic guitar riffs.
The album ends with "The Family Well' which contains a nice mixture of nostalgia and care-free indifference. Crunchy guitars (think an early Pavement type tone) populate the sound as Hamilton sings "it's over and we are done and I'm the one who fell It's water it's water draining from the well".
A refreshing, emotive work, Thunder/Dreamer is a well-rounded EP that will leave you satisfied yet wanting more all at the same time.
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