Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jeromes Dream - 2005 Completed (1997-2001) (2 CD)

Band : Jeromes Dream
Album : Completed (1997-2001) (2 CD)
Release Year : 2005
Genre : Screamo | Emo Violence

Tracklist :
1 This Is for Baby Fat
2 What Other Adjective Would You Hvae Me Use for the Word Good?
3 Do We Write to Write Right?
4 True Thinkers Will Stop Time to Think
5 ho's the Sniffer Lifter?
6 Rock Song
7 His Life Is My Denim Paradise All Day, Every Day
8 Double Who? Double You!
9 A Second Grade Art Project
10 And Just Like That the Year Is Gone
11 Exit 29 Collapsed as I Drove By
12 The Monologue of the Century
13 Life Is What You Make of It
14 The Teacher Says to His Pupil
15 Just Down the Hall from Room 526
16 They're Always So Quick to Judge
17 Its More Like a Message to You
18 A Present for Those Who Are Present
19 It's Right Where You Said It Would Be
20 I'm Reminded of a Kid Who Used to Stomp Bugs
21 A Well Documented Case of Severe Autism
22 My Most Recent Left Right Brain Argument
23 Untitled Number Two
24 Remember the Sea of Tranquility
25 Taking Care of Terrific
26 What I Learned at This Years Regional Optometry Convention
27 Unreleased #1
28 The Big Fuck You
29 I Wont Stop Wondering Until You Stop Breathing
30 Thirty Dollar Bill
31 Everyday at 3:06
32 The Last Time We Talked
33 Live Song #1
34 Live Song #2
35 How Staggering Is This Realization
36 Unreleased #2
37 Unreleased #3
38 Unreleased #4
39 Unreleased #5
40 Unreleased #6
41 No Matter What You're Always There
42 35

I guess before I start discussing the actual album I should first discuss Jerome's Dream’s sound. First off, forget everything you know about "screamo:" this isn't your typical record. Imagine combining the doom aggression of crust bands like His Hero is Gone with the passionate stylings of Orchid and you have a sense of what the rhythm section of this group sounds like. Even then, JD's drummer is as spastic and tight as a combination of those two bands. Guitarist Nick runs through an ever changing list of influences from straight up spazz rock to post-rock sections resembling Slint or any of the other early 90s post-rock dynamos. In a sense, the actual hardcore element isn't very prevalent in Jerome's music. At the same time, however, it is. The point I'm trying to get across is that they are an entirely unique band that combines a slew of underground genres into one solid block of noise that is at times offensive, and at times delicate. Then there are Jeff's vocals, some of the most inhuman noises I've ever heard (sans the Presents EP which represents the first tracks on this record). Jerome's Dream's lyrics resemble Off Minor's or Minutemen's in the sense that they are simple cuts of knowledge that resemble haikus. They are brilliantly written and part of the reason I adore the band so much. Brilliant lines like "so let's keep playing that song / the one that ends it all. " are found in nearly every song.

The first few tracks on "Completed" come from the "Presents" EP, which features an entirely different sound than the rest of Jerome's Dream's recordings. First off, Jeff apparently had lost his voice by this recording, and so instead of his typical yelp you hear some weird talk/yell sound that is heavily distorted. After the track "Double Who? Double You!" we are thrown into the realm of what Jerome's Dream truly sounds like. Most of the work the band released was apparently produced by Kurt Ballou, so his dense and analogy style is all over the band. The guitars go from being chunky and heavy to airy and beautiful, and the vocals are recorded in a way similar to Gospel's on "The Moon Is A Dead World." The vocals are present, but they are not very prevalent in the mix. The most easily comparable band in my mind, in terms of actual styling of the record, though not sonically in any way, is the Minutemen. The songs are quick, similar, and all seem to represent the same type of pissed off attitude. With the Minutemen this was usually accented with political undertones, while with Jerome's Dream the songs are burning with the fury of youth. Even the titles of the songs reek of high school with tracks like "Just Down The Hall From Room 526," and the spoken word intro of "Remember The Sea Of Tranquility." Every song on this album deals with some repressive idea of youth, and it is obvious the band is seeking a form of solace and release through their music. For those who connect with the band, myself included, this same solace is released through simply listening to such personal and emotive tales.

The only problem I see with this album is the same problem I have with most discographies: it is not very fluid. Since the songs found here are taken from various albums, you have songs interjecting into each other that don't represent the original intended flow. This issue is miniscule in my mind because of the shortness of Jerome's songs, but I can see it being an issue to some listeners.

"Completed" is an excellent reflection of youth and probably one of the best "screamo" records I've ever heard. Their desire to be original and inventive and their sheer talent helped the band achieve a one-of-a-kind sound that has yet in my mind to be matched in its sincerity and technicality. So, pick up "Completed" and maybe instead of complaining about how "there was a time when the pieces fit," you'll actually be able to see some of your own emotion in the words and rhythms of such a personal band. Or maybe I'm alone in my strange relation to this bizarre ensemble of noise and screams.

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