Dreamend - So I Ate Myself, Bite By Bite - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dreamend - So I Ate Myself, Bite By Bite

by Adam Leach Rating:8.5 Release Date:2010-11-08

So I Ate Myself, Bite By Bite is an album of dark, sinister lyrics, boxed up in a sweet little fuzzy box of joy inducing melodies, tinkling pianos and best of all, big buckets of banjos. Don't get me wrong, banjos can be leaned on too heavily, (see Mumford & Sons) but in the hands of Dreamend's sole member Ryan Greenface (bassist with Black Moth Super Rainbow) they are used to admirably good effect. But enough about banjos, what about the album?

First track 'Pink Cloud in the Woods' is blessed with both length (6-min-23-seconds) and girth of instruments with pianos, bells, drums, slide guitar and yes, banjos all playing their part to create a rich and complex sound. Imagine Arcade Fire on some of those 'special' funghi and you're not far off. 'Where You Belong' comes crashing in next with fast-paced acoustic guitars, the screech of a stylophone and the drawn out vocal stylings of Greenface. 'Magnesium Light' is built on a bed of banjos and drums with a twist of the vocals which builds slow but grows to beauty. What follows is an interlude, cannily named 'Interlude', where the detuned banjos are put front and centre.

The next track, and one of the album's finest offerings, is the heartfelt 'Repent' where both lyrics and composition complement the title perfectly. It is a song which shows that Dreamland can delve into the more commercial side of song-craft and still come out on top. The pièce de résistance of the album however is 'My Old Brittle Bones' which merges the various instruments into a well fitting jacket of sounds; the guitar shines through, then the vocals pick up the baton only to be taken on by the drums as they add an element of atmospheric build-up which polishes off an altogether good composition. Closing things is 'An Admission' which starts off with the procession, "I walk with life with no control, everywhere, everywhere" and continues to build with post-apocalyptic sentiments and slow building sounds. It offers the perfect last taste of the album as it draws in all the instruments and influences heard on previous tracks.

As an album, So I Ate Myself, Bite By Bite is out of its time. It doesn't lend itself to Radio 1 or The Album Chart Show but that is what makes it shine through. It's not chock full of singles, it's composed of chapters. It's one of those albums you can just stick on at the beginning and listen through to its end without ever wanting to skip, which is a step up in the era of over produced brain-stormed compositions. If you like forward thinking music, you'll love it. If you don't, you're a fool and should get on board by giving it a go.

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