The last year has seen some major line-up changes in the ranks of post-hardcore band Dream State, transformations which finds guitarist Aled Evans as the sole original member. Therefore, an EP is the perfect way for a reconfigured band to present themselves to the world, and while the aptly-titled Untethered isn’t the severing of roots, it does find Dream State facing the future and ready for all it brings.
Perhaps the hardest member of any band to replace is the vocalist. A singer’s tone can become so synonymous with a group’s sound that they can often become inseparable and one and the same. Former singer CJ Gilpin’s tone was such an integral part of Dream State that many wondered how they’d ever continue but in Jessie Powell they’ve found a worthy replacement. Opening track ‘Comfort In Chaos’ is the perfect statement of intent and, as a pre-emptive rebuke to any potential naysayers, it places Jessie’s voice prominently in the mix and she’s confidently stepped up and made the mic stand her own. A new vocalist has opened up new musical avenues for Dream State and the sound contained on Untethered is rich and lustrous, it’s akin to standing in a wind tunnel as waves of sonics rustle your hair and clothes. It also comes attired in vibrancy, as if the trauma of the past 12 months has been wrung out and the band are now…untethered.
At once heavy and emotive, ‘Taunt Me’ is awarded instant earworm status and it’ll quickly bury itself deep in your cranium and won’t be leaving anytime soon. Making good use of musical dynamics, ‘Taunt Me’ juxtaposes loud and quiet passages with each acting as a foil to highlight the other, meaning that when the heavy sections hit, they hit hard. It’s here where the rhythm section of bassist Jake Bowen and drummer Tom Connolly come into their own and the mechanical precision with which they deliver their beats only serves to enhance Jessie’s organic vocals. Despite only being a three-tracker, Untethered flows exceptionally well and ‘Chain Reactions’ brings a sense of closure with its anthemic chorus and choral conclusion.
My only real complaint with Untethered is that, at barely 10 minutes, it’s too darn short, but it signposts a bright future, and true to the old adage, leaves you hungry for more.
- Untethered is self-released on 3rd February 2023.
- Official Website
- Comfort In Chaos
- Taunt Me
- Chain Reactions