Back in January, Kerrang! named Dream State as one of our Hottest Bands Of 2018. In the Swansea natives, we saw a group that oozed ambition, confidence and, most importantly, talent; a collection of individuals who were making waves thanks to great songs, fearless live shows and an eloquence befitting a band much further into their career. They’d been buoyed by the video for White Lies blowing up on YouTube, but this was so much more than an online flash in the pan. Plenty of people have started to believe in Dream State, and they’ve repaid that faith with Recovery. This five-song collection is, simply, fucking brilliant.
As the opener White Lies kicks in, vocalist CJ Gilpin declares: ‘I’ve got a confession, I’ve got a secret on the tip of my tongue and it’s bleeding out.’ Her words set the tone for a record that is a cathartic, confrontational and moment-seizing display. The subjects of mental health and addiction are tackled with openness and intelligence, with In This Hell finding CJ discussing anxiety-induced insomnia, and the power of her words is backed up by an astonishing vocal display. The emotion in Solace’s affecting screams is spine-tingling, and the clean singing is similarly on-point throughout. It’s a performance that marks the vocalist out as one of UK rock’s finest new talents.
The rest of the band are far from upstaged, though. The guitars of Aled Evans and Rhys Wilcox soar across Help Myself, and Dream State’s musical backdrop feeds into the fact that it’s really hard to pin down this band’s sound. It can loosely be described as post-hardcore, but the quintet throw in elements of math-rock, metal and punk and impress at every point. Think an amalgamation of Bring Me The Horizon, Marmozets, Sleeping With Sirens and Underøath – this really is eclectic stuff.
CJ recently told K! that her band’s music “can be a voice for hurt people, in the same way that bands like Linkin Park and Slipknot were a voice for me.” In the same interview, the band spoke of an ambition to headline Download, and it’s that vision, and the way it’s executed throughout Recovery, that sets Dream State apart from the pack. The band’s music is vicious enough to draw in fans of their idols Slipknot, but equally, melody and accessibility radiate across Recovery’s five tracks without sounding stretched or forced.
Dream State have excelled themselves here. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to wake up and take notice of this band. This lot are a true force, and whatever’s next, you’ll want to be in on it.
Words: Jake Richardson
Recovery is available now via UNFD. Check it out on the stream below.
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