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The best kept secret in music


"Dreamend...As If By Ghosts"

Dreamend impressed on 2002's split 'Preface' EP with Monster Movie. The new full length effort embellishes their sound further with a set that meets post-rock and Low at a crossroads, encapsulated in the first song 'Of Raven And Winds'. Typically whey-faced vocals are the order of the day here, punctuated by Godspeed-type guitar whirlwinds. With this ground already being covered by multiple soundalikes it's essential that the songs are strong and - to be fair - some of them are. 'Four Days In May' reveals a mastery of the sense of space and steady drumming that made Breathless' 'Blue Moon' one of the best post-rock albums in recent times. 'Mur Mur' is bolstered by a strong melody but the best moment of all is saved for the quitest tune: the low-slung guitars and tender vocals of 'Can't Take You'. Their willingness to restrain a tendency for bombast could yet serve them well and their decision to insert a different photograph and text into each record sleeve is a nice, individualist touch. - Leonard's Lair

"Dreamend...as if by ghosts CD"

A gorgeous debut album full of beautiful dynamic guitarwork. Gentle pluckings turn into full gales of torrential guitar downpour. Reverbed western & slide guitars, acoustic strummings, feedback-laden squalls - the guitars are definitely the focal point here. Steady drumming rife with cymbal crashes perforate the atmosphere. Vocals emote their stories, accentuating the song structure at the right moments - and no more or no less. The packaging is also quite stunnning and impressive. This disc is limited to 3,000 copies and comes in gatefold chipboard packaging with a die cut on the front. In the square window is placed an authetic individual photograph (no two are the same!) from the 1880-1940 era - and each image is something special. I'm not sure if these other elements will be included in every disc or not, but my copy also contained a photograph negative (a different image than the cover) and a folded page from an antique book, either titled "Shadow Land" or "Our Spirit Visitors" - either way, ominous stuff indeed. - Tonevendor

"Dreamend...as if by ghosts"

Dreamend can turn a sweet aural back rub into a noisy dish-breaking fiesta with the drop of a hat, but when the white noise comes the songs are never lost in a black hole of senselessness. Chaotic bursts aside, slide guitars, chimes and naked arrangements make this a mostly touching, surprisingly delicious post-rock haunting. "Ellipsis" and "Ten Guitars from Salem" will have to fight it out for a position on that all-instrumental CD you've been wanting to make. - jason m. (d)"
- http://www.badrobot.co.uk/news.html

"Dreamend...As If By Ghosts"

Wow, this is an album I´ve been waiting for a really long time. I always was a big fan of Radiohead and Dreamend goes in the same vein as Radiohead. No...not a copy...it´s the feeling and the vibes this album spreads...it´s that magic when you put in a CD and you know after a few minutes that this is just the music you´re looking for. Oh yes..."As If By Ghosts" was just the album I was looking for, cause it was getting around Radiohead the last few month...and I´m like a drug addict...if I like something I always need more and more and "As If By Ghosts" is like a new drug...I love the sound of this recording...it´s pretty hard to describe...let´s say the mix is different, but really interesting and trippin´. I highly recommend this CD. This CD is like a good book...so you better start reading!!!

- http://www.daredevil.de/reviews/2004%20reviews%20august04/2004%20reviews%20august04.html

"bleached yesterdays, beached tomorrows"

I think this is the first year in a long time that I haven’t compiled one de facto ‘Summer Compilation’. There are lots of reasons for this, most revolving around the themes of time, space and energy, or of conflicting needs - so that instead there have been upwards of four or five collections put together mixing the old and the new, each one destined for a spell on the Tangents radio. Another reason though might be that there has been little new to excite me over the past few months, although that’s as likely to be due to my own tiredness and lack of focus as any lack of worth on the music’s part.Not that there haven't been exceptions.

One album that I’ve kept coming back to is the rather beguiling As If By Ghosts album by Dreamend. On the same Graveface label as the estimable Black Moth Super Rainbow, Dreamend tread a post-folk-rock path that conjures thoughts of something like a blend of Rachels, Ride, Slowdive and the ubiquitous God Speed! As a package it works beautifully: from the found ‘40s black and white gone sepia photograph inserted into the cover, through the similarly found negative and page torn from Shadow Land that nestle by the CD itself, to the blurred images printed on brown card sleeve and of course the music itself, this is a magical space in which to become lost for a while, a special place in which to lay down, stare at the clouds and think of nothing but bleached yesterdays and beached tomorrows. It’s the sound of memories half formed and all but forgotten, of ghosts of scents and wraiths of touch coming softly into your head in the dead of night. And it sounds magnificent.
- www.tangents.co.uk

"Dreamend 'As If By Ghosts'"

On their debut split EP with Monster Movie, Dreamend treaded a similar ground as many post-rock bands, but did it with enough flourishes that made me wonder where they would take things next. On their debut album As If By Ghosts, both their songwriting and craft have grown a great deal, making for a near-great album that again treads somewhat similar ground as other groups have done before, but pulls everyting together in a way to make it sound revolutionary at times.

One of the bands that one could draw comparisons to might be Explosions In The Sky (for the lovely dynamic shifts and absolutely huge walls of guitars), but this time around the group has also encorporated vocals and it actually works quite well adding another human layer to the music that many instrumental rock outfits don't seem to want to go near. "Of Ravens And Winds" opens the disc with quiet strums of guitars layered alongside ebowed guitars, and even though the vocals feel a bit fragile, it serves as a nice lead in to the release as "Ellipsis" takes similar elements and piles on chimes and a mountain of shimmering guitars.

In fact, the first half of the album feels like one slow crescendo as "Four Days In May" marches on towards something more potent yet, closing out with great multi-tracked vocals and another haze of guitars before "The Almighty" wastes no time in laying waste with a blistering full-on attack of pummeling drums and guitars. From there out, the group mixes things up a bit and fortunately succeeds most of the time. "The Old House & Its Occupants" is yet another in a long line of quiet-to-loud guitar-led instrumental rock tracks, but damn if the group doesn't make it sound invigorating once again.

At their worst, the group can be accused of sounding like a Smashing Pumpkins b-side and they stumble a bit during the midsection of the album with the vocal-led "Can't Take You" and the odd "Slide Song" (both of which try something a bit different and don't entirely succeed). And so, the group is at their best when they let their instruments do the talking, as on the maelstrom to quiet tempest "10 Guitars From Salem." I have to say that I'd also be slacking if I didn't mention the lovely packaing, which is again hand-made, including an inset photograph that is unique to each individual CD. An excellent debut from a group who's managing to do some original stuff in a very crowded genre.

Rating: 7.25
- www.almostcool.org

"Preface Monster Movie/Dreamend"

Everything about this release points to a deep attention to detail from the wonderful cardboard packaging to the songs themselves. The opening two tracks from Clairerecords' Monster Movie are instantly engaging with Beautiful Arctic Star's shoegazing meets electronica murmurings and the lo-fi piano throb and lamenting harmonica blues of Nobody Sees sounding like an elegiac Badly Drawn Boy pop ballad. However both songs are overshadowed and overwhelmed slightly by what is to come in the form of Dreamend's magnificent trilogy entitled Elipsis.

The sheer magnitude of the following twelve minutes is enough to blow you away. Dreamend is indeed an apposite description of their sound. The first part opens still in a fantasy world, slowly burning to a crashing midpoint of post-xylophonic-rock, with walls of fuzzy guitar nodding to bands like their US counterparts Melochrome. The second tranche is the hazy coming-to with everything slightly out of focus and blurred, but still waking up back to reality with thrashing guitar, a demolishing bass-line and drums flying around like bullets. The finale is an epic, gentle, swaying math-rock lullaby invigorating in all it's heartfelt warmth and pensive brooding. It's the part where you're still lying in bed and the sun has started creeping in your window, opening up the world outside. Like a truncated version of Godspeed! You Black Emperor they escalate through a catalogue of different emotions right the way through Elipsis, which leaves the listener feeling that they have just witnessed something pretty special indeed.

- http://www.eclectichoney.com/preface.html

"Monster Movie/Dreamend Preface"

Just one listen to the first track of the Preface EP on Graveface Records and it feels just like 1991 again. The promo's description of 'space pop' is very fitting; it's a shoegazing pastiche and no mistake. It's no surprise, therefore, that Christian Savill, once of shoegazing pioneers Slowdive, is one half of the group. Its follow-up 'Nobody Sees' is more like country music for the future, or to take another slant, Mercury Rev via a vocoder. The second half of the EP is taken up by the 'Ellipsis' suite from Dreamend. The approach falls into the wall of sound category but instead of drawn out 10-minute epics it is delivered in three smaller, easily digestible parts, each boasting their own independent melody. A fine seventeen-minute appetiser that leaves the listener thirsting for more from this fledgling record label. - http://www.leonardslair.co.uk/preface.htm

"Split EP w/Dreamend"

Monster Movie formed originally in 1989 and then, without any of the original members, re-formed in 2000. Today, Monster Movie is Sean Hewson and former Slowdive guitarist Christian Savill. Dreamend fills out the second half of this split EP. Dreamend works nicely coupled with Monster Movie, possessing a similarly layered, soft, rounded sound that shoegazers have grown to love.

"Beautiful Artic Star" opens up the CD with an 80's style drumbeat on one layer, an encompassing lethargic keyboard imitating the low-end of an organ on another, and a brighter keyboard imitating bells as the last layer. When it's all placed together, you can slip right into the dreamlike state that this CD sustains throughout. The vocals are repetitive and reverberate in your ear, allowing them to slip undetected into the other sounds. "Nobody Sees" greets us with a nice piano moving steadily, lowering the curtain to the distorted vocals. Midway into the verse, the harmonica - which is actually a keyboard - appears on the scene. Slowly it moves from note to note, keeping in line with the dreamlike tempo as it plays alongside the vocals. Then after just two tracks, Monster Movie leaves us.

But have no fear, Dreamend is ready to keep you rolling. To be polite, Dreamend starts off slowly as a transition to their slightly more up-tempo shoegazing. Wavering keyboards set the background, and a leisurely played electric guitar the foreground in the band's first untitled track. The speed of the song quickens as the drums pop in, instantly but unnoticeably livening things up. Gradually the instruments work towards a tempo that adequately suits the next - and best - track, "…Ellipsis…" This track opens with a very cool keyboard taking the stage as the chorus for the song. As the verse comes, the drums pound away, keeping the cymbals moving as the guitar and bass make sure no pinholes of silence appear. Dreamend chooses not to include vocals, and I think it works very well for them, as this track evidences. The last - and also untitled - track slows things back down once again. A bass guitar plays alongside the chime-like keyboards for a few minutes, with odd sounds and dashes of drums tossed in intermittently. The guitars come swirling in about three minutes into the song, and then we are strung-out back into the dream when they cut out, and finally back into reality when the CD fades out on the low end of the keyboards. By this time, you might already be in a real dream.

All in all, these are two wonderful shoegazing bands. Monster Movie creates a lighter dream-like state, while Dreamend integrates the traditional rock instruments to assist their creation of a slightly darker, less melancholy atmosphere. While Monster Movie incorporates vocals nicely into their sound, Dreamend functions wonderfully without them. So who wins the split? (What do you mean it's not a competition?) Well I really liked the track "…Ellipsis…" from Dreamend, so that's my winner. But both bands are very solid, and if you have enjoyed staring at your Nike's in the past, you should check them out yourself.

- Joe, 12/30/02
- http://www.adequacy.net/reviews/m/monstermovie.shtml#3

"Monster Movie/Dreamend"

Before Monster Movie’s debut 5-song EP came out, most people had given up on Christian Savill. While the rest of his former band mates from Slowdive were working on other projects (like the successful Mojave 3) few people actually knew what had come of poor Christian. With the EP and the ensuing full-length Last Night Something Happened, it was clear his quiet years were spent well, probably spent even better than those of his former band mates. His coupling with Sean Hewson to form Monster Movie was a wonderful success. Monster Movie’s reputation for gorgeous pop melodies amidst a wash of atmospherics ensued, and is perpetuated with their newest release, a split EP with Ohio’s Dreamend.

Monster Movie contributes the split’s first two tracks, "Beautiful Artic Star" and "Nobody Sees." "Nobody Sees" sounds like the Flaming Lips covering a Neil Young song with the help of a harmonica and a piano. The effect is chilling in its beauty; Where "Beautiful Artic Star" uses repetition and incredible atmospherics to draw the listener in, "Nobody Sees" is surely the stunner of the entire split.

This is not to say Dreamend doesn’t live up to its end of the bargain, following Monster Movie’s stellar contribution. I’d never heard of Dreamend prior to this release, but its sound exposes the same kind of innocence and beauty captured by bands like Monster Movie and Black Moth Super Rainbow. Dreamend has its roots more in guitar and bass, whereas Monster Movie emphasizes the piano and atmospherics, and Dreamend’s contribution is also completely instrumental, making for a good amount of diversity between these two dream-pop bands, the perfect distribution of variety and thematic similarity for the split.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
- http://www.ursis.com/LAS/archives/reviews/records/monstermovie.htm


As If By Ghosts LP 2004 out now!!
Preface EP 2002
Stigmata Boy EP 2001
Dreamend EP 2001
The Sickening Pang of Hope Deferred... LP 2000


Feeling a bit camera shy


Dreamend's 2002 release, 'Preface', was an EP split with the UK's Monster Movie, which featured ex-members of Slowdive. 'As If By Ghosts' is their newest and most ambitious LP to date. Dreamend's soaring soundscapes are atmospheric and dynamic.