Review – Dream The Electric Sleep – The Giants’ Newground – by Roy Hunter

I think this is a strange one!! It was written and recorded back in 2008 before the band was even formed… It pre-dates all of the other three releases from these Kentuckian souls, before they had even chosen the band name!!

The 16 songs are shortish (for a proggy album) with The Stage being the longest track at 7 minutes 18 seconds just… However, despite their collective shortness, Matt Page and Joey Water’s efforts show the promise that has been realised and recorded in their later releases!!

The sounds? From a light picky start, the 1st track Home swiftly develops into a post rock song of surprising quality. Only a short track though @ 2:42, It left me wanting to hear much more from the duo…

Track 2, We Smell The Blood, a more sedate number with some heavy guitar work – good song but hard to pick out the words at times – that post rock fuzz builds up!! From around 3 and a half minutes though everything calms down again to some ethereal guitar picking…

Track 3 Father Francis – a melodic song, Matt’s vocal range brought right to the fore here.

Track 4 reminds me of some Oasis songs – Ok if you like them I suppose… Come to think of it, the whole album shows some influence from the Gallagher brothers???  On repeated listening, one can pick out influences from other sources – Muse, early Anathema, to name just two…

Overall, I liked this prequel album, it justified my purchase of their earlier (later) publications. Matt has a fine voice and his song writing talent is in no doubt. The guitar work is excellent throughout the album too – the gentle track 7, One Last Fix proves my point.

Halfway through the album at track 8, It Will All Be Over Soon you hope it won’t! The River Current is a light and wistful song (a Dylan influence?) which balances a lot of the heavier music heard earlier. Track 11 Sounds Like Magic is a pure Oasis clone with a better guitar lick now and again.

Acoustic guitar over a mushy radio broadcast reminiscent of some Roger Waters work for #12, and then that excellent guitar jolts one back to the real world for Soulful which, for me, has the best vocal work of the album… I’ll not forget the phrase – Apostle of Hypocrisy – I’m gonna use that in my own writing I think! By far the best track on this album.

The last 3 songs deliver more of the same – high quality musicianship leavened with some thought provoking lyrics…

Buy it – there is much to cherish here!

Released 18th May 2018

Order the album from Amazon here

 

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