As is the necessary cynicism that is par for the course with being a music fan these days, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Dream State are simply the latest industry cash cow that’s being wrung out for every last drop of potential they can offer. Signing to UNFD at the end of 2017 after their single White Lies caught plenty of groundswell is an easy place to start with that, but now with a sudden mainstream presence and sizable tours and festival slots already on the docket, the Welsh quintet would appear to be heading down a path that so many before them have been unable to stay on for the long term.
In this case, though, Dream State do seem to be a cut above the rest. That’s not to say they’re as special as they’re currently being touted as, but this is the sort of surging, melodically fertile post-hardcore that, when done right, can verge on genuine greatness, and that’s exactly where this band are heading on new EP Recovery. A big part of that is thanks to CJ Gilpin’s stellar vocal performance and the intent behind it, channeling the darkness manifested within her and learning to reach a place of calm. It’s no surprise that White Lies became their breakout single then, given how fluidly and naturally it ducks and weaves through impassioned singing to instinctive bursts of screams, but the gnawing emptiness and pain that characterises In This Hell and Solace proves that it’s not just a fluke.
Admittedly it would be nicer if the music could follow suit and sand off some of the sleekness and polish to match this sort of rawness, but even then, Dream State are able to capture presence and stormy drama better than so many. There’s still a pleasant amount of crunch that’s definitely workable, particularly when coupled with the penchant for the stampeding, clinical riffs that keep it going at a formidable pace. Everything clicks the way it ultimately should, and it’s hard to deny that Dream State know how to capture the best possible atmosphere for what they want to convey.
Even for as new a band as they ultimately are, the technique and craft on Recovery is something to admire, already being put to good use in an effective way. What’s more, it already feels as though Dream State are coming into their own; the influences from the scene are definitely apparent, but they feel more like ingredients here than the entire basis. It’s definitely enough to herald far bigger things to come for this band, especially if they continue to build on the remarkably tight approach they’ve already got.
For fans of: Too Close To Touch, Awaken I Am, Tigress
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Recovery’ by Dream State is released on 18th May on UNFD.