Dream On Dreamer – What If I Told You It Doesn’t Get Better (Album Review)
Dream On Dreamer – What If I Told You It Doesn’t Get Better
Released: April 10, 2020
Marcel Gadacz | Vocals
Zachary Britt | Guitar/Vocals
Callan Orr | Guitar
Chris Shaw | Bass
This is an album I never thought I’d have to review. Dream On Dreamer’s final offering to the world after 11 years together. What If I Told You It Doesn’t Get Better is a grim title but, honestly, a beautiful album. To follow up It Comes And Goes is no easy feat and this album was certainly not what I expected.
We open with what I reckon is one of the best songs on the album, ‘Feel So Empty’. Brilliant cleans from both vocalists Marcel Gadacz and Zachary Britt, smashing riffs and a chorus that almost can’t be beaten. It’s an incredible first track and no wonder they released it as their first single. Note the unclean vocals – not as heavy as old DOD but we’ll take anything we can get. And that’s not to say I’m not a fan of Marcel’s clean vocals, I think they’re great and really developed over the years, but you can’t help but miss the heavy heavy sometimes, right?
‘Don’t Disappear’ is another banger. Djenty, rapid and low – umm yes please! These first two tracks really cement the fact that Dream On Dreamer are really very focussed on lyrical content. It’s thought provoking with an element of introspection. And I’m not going to try and dissect it for you because that is totally individual, but I will say that to me, lyrically, it sounds like they’re addressing their break up. And yeah, we don’t want them to disappear, but they won’t – music lives forever.
Ooh okay now OG fans sit down, this one’s for you! ‘Explicit’ opens with someone asking ‘why don’t you guys scream anymore?’ and then fury spits from Marcel’s lips. It’s angry, and tamed only by the chorus which brings such a different tone from the verses that it almost doesn’t fit. But, somehow, they’ve blended these two very different vocal styles into one song and yes, we like it. ‘Fade Away’ and ‘Spirit Is Moving’ both have some very cool production, it’s atmospheric and electronic and oh boy do I love some good keys! ‘Fade Away’ turns aggressive towards the end, with some gritty screams whereas ‘Spirit Is Moving’ is emotional and a true duet.
‘Sentimental’ is nice, on the first couple of listens it’s not super memorable compared to others on this album, but it grows on you. It’s one of those songs that you can listen to while doing almost anything, and it seems to float somewhere in the middle of your consciousness where it doesn’t get in the way. And with ‘December’ we have some high notes not from Zachary, but from Marcel! Proving that even though this is the band’s last album, they weren’t about to not experiment and push themselves. Yes, this is sounding like an accumulation of past and present DOD but the band still put time and energy into it and they definitely did not half arse anything.
We get a little excitement from ‘Who We Are’ with some edgy riffs (yes Callan), a bit of grunge and a slow groove thanks to Chris and his muscles- I mean bass. This song is deceptive though! Give it a couple of listens and it might just become your favourite on the album. It feels like we’re building up the energy with the following song ‘First Light’. It’s upbeat, a bit more rocky, and heartfelt for sure; how do these fellas fit so much emotion into a song? I guess we’ll never know.
And with the last few songs building, I expected a banger like the first few tracks on the album as the closing song on What If I Told You It Doesn’t Get Better but alas, Dream On Dreamer surprise us again (as if the break up and final album weren’t shocking enough). ‘Regrets’ is a soft, beautiful track that closes the album. This is a song for relaxing in the bath, for reading to, crying to, for embracing a loved one. It’s meditative and I love it and everything it makes you feel.
This is an album I feel very conflicted about, oh it’s brilliant, but how am I supposed to review an album like this – a band’s last album ever – and do it justice? Looking back on their 11 year career they’ve always tweaked their style, and I feel like with What If I Told You It Doesn’t Get Better they’ve found the sound they were always looking for. It’s heavy, soft and everything in between, but mostly it’s heartfelt lyrics bolstered by an atmospheric and powerful soundscape. But now that’s it. The album title can be interpreted negatively, but also positively, and by saying ‘hey, what if I told you it doesn’t get better than this’ it’s an acknowledgement that they’re at their peak. They’re quitting while they’re ahead, and we can’t be mad about that.
I’m glad Dream On Dreamer are going out on a high because like I said earlier, music lives forever. And you know what? With this album, they’ve been immortalised.
Dream On Dreamer – What If I Told You It Doesn’t Get Better tracklisting
- Feel So Empty
- Don’t Disappear
- Fade Away
- Spirit Is Moving
- Who We Are
- First Light
What If I Told You It Doesn’t Get Better is out Friday April 10 via Believe. Pre-order here.
Review by Ebony Story
Dream On Dreamer’s Farewell Statement:
The spirit of this band has always been to create and perform music wholeheartedly with all of our attention and passion. After 11 years it seems we are at a crossroad where other areas of our personal lives require that care and attention to be focused. So it is with heavy hearts that we are announcing the end of an era that has been Dream on Dreamer.
We will never take for granted the incredibly rare gift that we have been blessed with, the experiences we have gained through music, the connections we have made with people and the community we have been so lucky to create and be apart of. This band has shaped us all personally in such a strong way. For all of this we feel greatly indebted to our fans.
We are so proud of the music we have created. We feel so fortunate to have such a supportive fanbase and hope you can continue to support us as we make this transition in our lives.
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