I was sent an unfinished version of Dose Your Dreams so that I might contribute string parts. I couldn’t stop listening to the rough mixes I received. A friend asked me how the record was. I replied, “My God, Fucked Up have made their Screamadelica.”
And psych-rock-groove it is. The drums mixed wide, propensity for drones, for delay pedal, for repetition, groove. The politics and aesthetics of hardcore married to an “open format” approach to genre. Elements of doo-wop, krautrock, groove, digital hardcore.
“None of Your Business Man” opens the album in familiar enough territory, a sax-assisted exit from an office space. But things get psychedelic very quickly. By the time the title track arrives, Mike Haliechuk is whispering, wah pedals are in full effect, and we’re wearing oversized t-shirts and pinwheeling. “Accelerate,” the lyrical centerpiece of the album, storms in like Boredoms on a bullet train and dissolves into a digital nightmare. The album closer, “Joy Stops Time,” finds Fucked Up at their most Düsseldorfian, nearly eight minutes of blissful motorik.
At the center of it all is Damian Abraham’s scream—a man chained, a man tortured, a true protagonist. The effect is one of an epic, every chapter attempting its own narrative devices, its own genre hybridization—and it works, it works so insanely well. The drama unfolds like a miniature world of many parts being explored, a map being illuminated, location by location.
As with David Comes to Life, there is a story here. David—who once came to life—is now indentured to a desk job. David meets the elderly Joyce who closes his eyes, opens his mind, and sends him on a spiritual journey. David embarks on his own metaphysical odyssey. He sees a stage adaptation of his own life. He speaks to an angel in a lightbulb. He sees an infinite series of universes as simulations within simulations.
Meanwhile, Lloyd—Joyce’s lover—was sent, decades ago, by Joyce on the same odyssey, but was lost in the void. Lloyd seeks to be found and reunited with his lover. Where will David end up? Will Joyce and Lloyd be reunited?
Dose Your Dreams—meaning: treat your dreams as you would a dream, allow yourself to be lost within them, allow them to open your heart and your mind, enjoy them as you would a drug. Reach out for my hand and pull me close. —Owen Pallett
BURIAL WAVES formed in 2019, and much like the seminal bands of the Salad Days era, they sprouted from an array of DC/Baltimore area bands, carrying on a balance and blend of heft and heart. They made their live debut with several shows in early 2020 just as the persisting global pandemic took its grip. This obviously halted their live momentum, but gave them the opportunity to fine tune their sound and start recording.
With the dissolution of their expansive post-rock outfit Black Clouds, guitarist Ross Hurt and drummer Jimmy Rhodes immediately reached out to their old friend Kyle Durfey of post-hardcore luminaries Pianos Become the Teeth about working on a new project. Hurt’s former bandmate Kevin Hilliard from prog-punk trio Caverns was brought on board to cover bass duties and Matthew Dowling of math rock ensemble The EFFECTS joined in on second guitar. “Everyone seemed to not just be on the same page, but started completing each other’s metaphorical sentences,” Hurt says. “We’ve all been playing together or sharing the stage together for years, so there is a great sense of familiarity with everything we’re doing.”
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