Between Dreams and Awake is a post rock alternative band hailing from Central New York. The 3-piece formed a little under a year ago, but the hectic nature of life made things difficult for them. They’d played together before, but they were ready to tread old ground in a new way. They were ready to bring life’s experiences to the table, rather than let the chaotic ways of the world stop them from playing music at all. It had always been an outlet for Between Dreams and Awake, so they poured all the raw energy and passion they could muster into this short EP. Despite the 2 hour travel distance and completely different life schedules the three members made the time to write music and record a 3 song EP that is intended to be an introduction of the band that will be a prelude to a full length.
The 3-track EP entitled This is Not a Test opens with the ominous ‘The Beginning of an Ending’. The low grunt of a distorted, building guitar progression serves as the foundation on which the multi-layered, intensely-dark track leads the listener into the musical soundscape of Between Dreams and Awake. A tribal drum beat pounds its way on consistently and passionately, as bursts of reverberating guitar echo endlessly far off in the distance. An electric guitar arpeggio builds on top of the gradually-increasing musical madness, as the drums begin to intensify towards the climax. The final minute of the 4-minute track is a crescendo, as the vocals finally emerge in a brutal cacophony of melodic screaming.
"Summer’s Love" is a very different change of pace, but after the intensity of the first track, a gentler pace is not only well-chosen, but the adrenaline-fuelled insanity of the previous track switches on the brain of the listener. I was fully attentive during this melodic track, driven by a loud-quiet dynamic between the verses and choruses. Pop-punk-esque vocals sit atop distorted, crunchy electric guitar, with occasional bursts of screaming better fitted to the metalcore genre. Yet, overall, the track’s chord progression is quite upbeat and pop-esque, with a slow, yet punchy beat to match this style. It’s hard to pinpoint what this band is striving towards with their overall sound, but that’s a great thing. It’s good to be unpredictable.
The final track, "Breach", is a gentle piece driven by a lightly and loosely crashing drum beat, beautifully sweet and tender piano arpeggios, and equally-tender vocals. The vocalist harmonizes with lower, tempered vocals, creating a warm and “big” sound, for lack of a better way to describe it. Echoing electric guitar whirrs and glides off towards infinity, atop a screeching and emotive vocal performance.
All in all, this is a band worthy of note for the pop-punk fans amongst you. The vocalist puts his all into the delivery of every last word, whether he’s adopting a delicate, fractured tone or a brutal scream emanating from the pit of his body. Between Dreams and Awake is a band to which you should be listening if you aren’t already doing so.
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