Album Review – Dreambeaches – Habits (Winners of #NewMusicFriday Episode 9)
By: Brad Johnson
Buffalo, New York’s Dreambeaches debut Habits introduces us to an ambitious, if a tad scattershot, new band. The six song EP works as a fitting template for the band’s talents, but also their limitations. Dreambeaches may know what kind of band they want to be, but Habits gives us different versions of what could be the finished article. This is a problem endemic of debut releases: many bands don’t have their sound nailed down early into their career, but what it allows is a fascinating glimpse into the construction of a new artist.
This is exactly what we get on Habits, where Dreambeaches throw all of their influences, themes, and preoccupations at the wall to see what sticks. The band made up of Corey Bzibziak, Gabe Wells, Jacob Peter, and Andrew Kothen, play with different moods and genres to work out who they want to be, which culminates on an impressive, but uneven collection of songs.
We begin with “Tiny Spirits”, an ode to the childish view that most of the world is being denied to you: “I’m tired of watching life through a window” Bzibziak sings, bringing to mind the feeling that as a child, adults get more of the world than we do. It’s a great start, full of weird harmonies, and the type of guitar melodies that Sonic Youth made famous. Next is the title track, which switches gear, going in a more funk-rock direction reminiscent of Vampire Weekend, mixed with the British stylings of The View, but much more streamlined.
Deambeaches’ aim seems to be to present romanticized situations and deconstruct them. Habits brags about the protagonists boast of having lots of half-read books, and making more plans than friends, whereas “Graduation Day” presents the consequences of post college life and that it’s something you just can keep going once you’ve left it.
Each song has a specific identity, anyone of which Dreambeaches could mine for a full album, but the best example is “Out of Bloom”, as it is the band’s most lyrically, and sonically ambitious song. Dreambeaches are full of potential, and Habits is a solid introduction to a band with talent to burn.