(see also our feature on Seraph Records)
Over the past two months, a lot of signifigant things have happened to my personality. Besides becoming a complete computer geek and learning HTML, I have also become an utter shoegaze/indy rock freak. And I owe it all to Slowdive of course, and Ashes (also reviewed this issue) and this wonderful Chicago band Garden Of Dreams.
With the first two songs on the band’s newest CD “Everything,” the power and capabilities of the band are presented and hook the listener instantly. “Velvet Waves” is a gorgeous, somber track with pounding drums, driving bass and warm waves of shimmering guitar genius. The song peaks with the introduction of blistering violin, chimes and lush male vocal harmonies. “Glow” follows and exhibits the band’s pop sensibilities, taking a cue from The Cure and composing a sweetly romantic and contagious song that would delight fans of alternative and the goth/post rock fans of old.
But then comes the epic masterpiece, the
absorbing highly emotional “In The Shadows Of A Ghost” which is just absolutely
in its ten-minute entirety, a perfect song. Violins loom throughout
the building watery guitars, orchestral synths, and melodic simplicity
of the drums as downtrodden male vocals mope through a bleak wonderland
of love lost and hope for relief
More recently the band has released a remix
CD entitled “In Sight Of Skies Turned Out,” where a collection of interesting
and diverse re-workings of the band’s material appears. Though I
have always been of the opinion that excessive remixes were a waste of
time and sort of regarded them as no more than space fillers to tide fans
over. This is no exception, however, if you are interested in the
band, it’s not a bad release to pick up, as the remixes are interestingly
avant-garde. Though don’t expect a driving club hit as I feel there
are really no songs consistent enough to receive serious club play.
The band’s original material from “Everything” and the prior release “The
Seraphim’s Desire” make for better club candidates as the songs are more
focussed and quite frankly, presented in the form they are meant to
This is great music, for fans of heartfelt
dark pop, and it was an exceptionally invigorating listen.
IN SIGHT OF SKIES TURNED OUT:
Garden Of Dream is:
Garden Of Dreams - Official Site:
Garden Of Dreams Mp3 Site:
GARDEN OF DREAMS
~reviewed by Psionic Imperator
Sometimes I truly wish I were more capable of appreciating technical proficiency alone. If that were the case, I'd love Garden Of Dreams, as skill is in abundance here. But this release does nothing for me.. It lacks substance, like a souffle. Being entirely too light, fluffy, airy, happy, and Cure-ish for it's own good, they are a project that should be excellent, but just somehow fail to deliver. At the same time, I cannot help but think that perhaps its just me, perhaps it is my preternatural obsession with the darker/harder side of music... I'm sure that there are many of the Gothic persuasion who would adore this project for it's (virtually intangible) ethereal qualities.. Me personally, I just can't sink my teeth into this. I also can't help but find a certain degree of irony in the title of this release, considering it _lacks_ almost 'Everything'. I'll say this much; If you love Lycia, if you love the Cure, then there is a better than good chance that you'll at least like Garden Of Dreams...
Garden Of Dreams are: