Intimate Dream – Wonderful Thing
The Minnesota based outfit Intimate Dream isn’t bad, but they are just a little bit disjointed across this EP. The 6 songs hop genres a little too much for their own good, leaving an entertaining collection of music that would benefit from being one thing as opposed to many. Still, what’s included is listenable enough with stirring guitar work all throughout.
The title track is an alright introduction, but it is by far the least dynamic and most plaintive number on the recording. It’s a standard, radio friendly tune with electric/acoustic textures and the obligatory chorus. Even the subject matter, which centers on pining for a girl out of reach, hardly raises the flag about the “standard fare” level. Thankfully, this so/so piece is offset by the explosive “In Your Head.” Vocalist/guitarist Hugh Faulds borderlines his vocals on a near shout here with the entire band falling his lead; the guitars ignite with an overload of fireworks, the drummer spices up the material in a volley of snare fills and the bassist practices his best alley cat slink. There’s a crunch to this material that would have suited it as a better as an opener than the one chosen.
On “Mine Alone”, the band distills a bit of the melodic, progressive rock of King’s X and unfolds it in a tapestry of soulful guitar leads, smooth vocals and tangled rhythmic webs. This is a top track for certain; slightly complicated in terms of the instrumentals but still mindful of not taking things too far over the top and delivering a great, hummable song when all is said and done. Another winner is the BIG, phat, in-your-face rock riffs of “Space Girl.” With a title like that, one might think they’re going to hear some sort of psychedelic song, but instead the boys give us a rocker stuffed with greasy power chords, edgy vocals and a battering, forceful rhythm churn. It’s similar to “In Your Head”, but even harder. This is a direction Intimate Dream excels at and should explore more of on forthcoming releases. The album ends awkwardly with the malt-shop shaking, 12 bar piano of “Slow Down” and the acapella second version of the title track. While neither cut is bad, they completely go against the grain of the songwriting tactics used earlier and might sound like another band entirely to many listeners.
Wonderful Thing isn’t perfect but when it rocks it does so with aplomb. Unfortunately, it decides to take some left turns and throw curveballs towards genres that really don’t fit with the rest of the framework laid. None of these experiments are wholly unsuccessful, yet it takes away from any sort of cohesion or flow that the EP works up. Of course, there is plenty of time to grow and develop, and more often than not Intimate Dream achieves results. I will be curious to hear what they do on their next record, while enjoying this one for its stronger moments.
7 out of 10 stars.