Dream Popped by Loudness War is an irreverent, psychedelic ride that sounds like you’re watching an indie flick about careless and addled twenty-somethings. One can imagine sitting in a garage or a front porch listening to this album, the feeling of a uniquely disaffected euphoria permeating the atmosphere. It’s grimy but in the best way possible. This album plunges you into distorted riffs and thick layers of sound then brings you up for a momentary gasp of air and sends you right back under.
Dream Popped 1, the intro track, starts with a driving overture and introduces the muddy distortion and psychedelic mood. All You Never Wanted is more emotional, the guitar getting more sludgy as the song goes on and seamlessly transitioning into the next track. Semolina; the single released prior to the album, stands out with the uniquely hypnotic guitar lead, sounding like some fevered version of a Roald Dahl book.
Noise (Oh No!) is a standout, starting with flowery guitar plucks and soft vocals progressively becoming a garage rock scream fest. The final beats of the song are submerged in dazed pedal work. Disappointed Again provides a stripped-down come-up for air from the heavy electric guitar before dramatically plunging you right back in. Mistletoe’s initially jangly singing pattern, almost Beatle-esque but paired with a distorted guitar backing and intense drumming, switches to a thrilling breakdown of disjointed guitar solo with ethereal background vocals. Future Days gives the listener a small break after the solo, this is a very floaty and ethereal tune that makes you think of laying on the ground staring at the ever-shifting night sky with your friends. This slips into the closer… Dream Popped 2: a jaunty outro, wrapping up the record in a nice little bow and bringing everything to an end with the closing line of “well that seems to be the show”
Rating: This album is overwhelmingly consistent with its sound, which is good if you’re a fan of heavy guitar work and distortion that is ambiguously deliberate or just a result of poor mixing. Given that these guys have about 500 monthly listeners on Spotify, it’s not entirely clear which. Regardless, the appeal of this psychedelic and grungy album recommends it to anyone who’s fans of Flightless Records (King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, The Murlocs, or Thee Oh Sees) or other modern psych-rock heavyweights like Nolan Potter. The best tracks were hard to pick, but the leading single Semolina and the absolute banger Noise (Oh No!) are solid starters. This album gets 4 Grateful Dead Tee Shirts out of 5.