Well helloooooo Radical Dreamer. Am I shocked that this four-piece indie/acid rock with triptastic surf vibes hails from Long Beach, CA? Not in the least, BUT these guys are anything but predictable. With just four tracks on their Radical Dreamers EP, they convey a full bodied array of emotion and even work from several planes of existence. They are bursting with so many cool and original ideas. Just throwing me this EP feels a bit like a tease, but it's a very indulgent cruelty.
"Lips Like Broken Chains" is a surfy, post punk experience with an acid soaked finish. It's ironic, dreamy and a little off the wall. You'll often find the edges bleeding and blurring on this one. A great opener, demonstrates such a strong and fantastical point of view. Slowing down things a bit, you are quickly slipped into "Only You." So rife with desire it houses a genuine pleasing which I think is enhanced by the vocal performance style. There was so much cool instrumental stuff happening in the first track, I did find myself immediately missing that aspect. This one is more of a garage pop shoegazer. It is certainly distinctive and full of emotion.
Number three is "...Don't Give Your Dreams Away," an excellent title and sound advice. Now we're getting a little more punk high gear. The crunchy guitar layering, the heartfelt lyrics. At its core it's very young and rambunctious. Honestly It almost sounds like it belonged in one of those high school drama movies of the early ’00s, a high tier one though. Last on the EP is "Starling (Soundscape For Burroughs)." Again we get a serious shoegaze vibe with very off-worldly spoke word audio samples. It's a stellar collection and a pretty big risk. I respect it.
One thick thread that holds all these wild concepts is the unmistakable vocal stylings of Darian H. Sometimes I can't tell if I love or hate his melodramatic delivery. It's ballsy, and his voice classically lovely. It's a bold choice considering their genre. Sometimes I felt like there were times where there was no other way to sing that song. Other times it felt like it was rubbing against the grain, which may very well be the point. Interestingly enough, I would have both reaction from listening to one song.
The production on here is solid. Sure, it's off the wall and bizarre, but there is method to the madness. It takes ingenuity to create worlds from scratch the way they do. It takes dedication to create something so memorable. Their play with electronic embellishments and sampling was spot on.
I feel like this EP was the group introducing themselves, their point of view and the great things to come. I do feel like they left me with a tension and point of view that I want to explore further. I've got a single issue comic here and what I really need is the whole trade. This will be a lesson in patience.
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