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Review: Weird Dreams’ ‘Choreography’ dreams of The Beach Boys

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Combining modern pop-rock chillwave with harmonic group vocals, reminiscent of The Beach Boys circa 1965, British rock band Weird Dreams offers a slightly less catchy version of the influences in which its debut album, “Choreography,” draws.

Although songs such as “Summer Black” and the bass-drum-heavy “Vague Hotel” successfully bring a vibrant beach party sound, the album remains lackluster as a whole, bringing little new material to 21st century audiences.

Tracks such as “Holding Nails” and “666.66” lean a little too heavily on 1960s sounds, coming across as more of an imitation than a present-day recreation. In such songs, Weird Dreams’ melodies often blend together, creating a monotonous background to the album’s standout tracks.

The title track “Choreography” and the anxiety-driven “Faceless” offer a more contemporary twist missing from the album’s other features. “Choreography,” the final song, closes its namesake on a high note. Combining the album’s overall pop-heavy tones with a haunting depth absent from previous tracks, “Choreography” leaves listeners with a reason for a second glance (before ultimately digging up their parents’ copies of “Pet Sounds” and reveling in some “Good Vibrations”).

It is important to mention, however, that the songs from these London-based rockers are anything but terrible. Anyone can find enjoyment in the album’s poppy tones, but “Choreography” provides few incentives for repeated listening. The songs, though well-played and smoothly-sung, lack the musical innovation of fellow 2012 chillwavers Best Coast or Panda Bear, the latter often said to be the founder of the retro, synth-pop revival.

Saving Weird Dreams’ latest endeavor from falling behind the radar is the angst-ridden and, oftentimes, dark poetry of frontman Doran Edwards.

Overall, Weird Dreams’ latest project, though leaving room for improvement, warrants a listen from all indie rock fans.

 

Grade: C+

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