Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review: Call Me A Dreamer - Progress + Dead + Self//Less

Boys and girls, boys and girls, good god. Baltimore is doing work this year! I just did the Dead Gods review, and I'm starting to see the intensity of Baltimore's work ethic. For CMAD, I'm going to review their EP from the last year, as well as their two newest singles. Playing emotional hardcore, mixed with darker, faster hardcore, CMAD has an incredibly unique sound that I've never really heard before--but am stoked to review.

Call Me A Reviewer:

"Introductions" - Starting out with ambient, delay-fringed leads and a rumbling bass, this song is a solemn ode to failed introductions, "So let's start with 'goodbye,' because I've never been one for introductions." Quippy, witty, and emotionally charged, this intro is a pleasure for someone like me who gets bored extremely quickly with most hardcore bands. After being in the scene for almost 8 years now, I've seen so much, and so it's always great to see bands like CMAD doing new things, and doing them well.

"Gillian" - Wow. What an unexpected turn. defying the logical progression of "Introductions," CMAD drops into a groove-heavy bass riff and... feedback (I swear to God, it's like these bands know exactly what I'm looking for), with their drummer punishing his floor and rack toms. All the elements combined make for a dark, enticing track. "It's all on you."

"Wasted" - A quick little banger, this track is 46 seconds of aggression, starting out with an exciting circle pit, and ending with a killer, fret-jumping breakdown. I know the word "breakdown" has been ruined by the metal scene, but this truly is a killer breakdown. Lyrics like a disappointed H2O, "One life to live, don't fuck this up."

"Nations" - Coming back to the melodic side of things, this song is an absolutely gorgeous track, and my personal favorite on the album. Anxious, raspy vocals cry out the never-ending question that we all face, "I don't know where home is. I'm always stuck between this rock and a hard place, when all I want is just to fucking fit in." The fact that this takes places over beautiful harmonics and trills, scaling leads, and almost--dare I say--twinkling guitars makes this a near-perfect melodic hardcore track. Everything I like about emotional hardcore is on this track.

"Day In//Day Out" - The most ambient, emotionally-charged song on this album, "Day In//Day Out" is an honest, introspective look at the life of the author, with lyrics like, "I hope someday you'll look and see, I'm not the man you wanted me to be," and "I've been starving myself for weeks." This song delves into the human psyche and the dark questions that most of us never ask ourselves. Props to the writer of this song for taking the time to do it.

"Dead" - Heading back to the darker and more destructive side of their music, CMAD brings us "Dead," a short, quick, Cursed-influenced track that rips, crunches, and spin-kicks you in the eye sockets as you listen to it. "The wolves, they pester me. The dark circles under my eyes grow darker, darker, darker still. No sleep. Dead." Brilliant song, short enough to fit in everything they wanted, long enough to be a badass, groovy crowd-pleaser. Hell yeah.

"Self//Less" - Distorted bass a la early-Trash Talk leads the intro, before pummeling in with the guitars and drums. Another darker song, this song borders on the edge of fastcore/powerviolence with kickass sludge breaks and lots and lots of perfectly-placed drums. You can actually hear where they blow out the monitors on the recording (which kicks ass). "There is nothing for me here. Erase Me."

Call Me A Dreamer is another showcase of the enormous talent and work ethic of Baltimore, MD, and a damn good one, at that. "Progress" shows us the bands' versatility, and "Dead" and "Self//Less" continue to pummel us while we wait for their split with Dead Gods. Awesome job, dudes. My only complaint is that "Nations" isn't a 15-minute song. But, c'est la vie. Support this band with your whole heart.