November 23, 2016

EP: True Dreams - Untitled

True Dreams rails against the forces on their explosive debut.

Like a story that begins in media res, True Dreams’ debut EP Untitled throws us into the action without holding our hands. Angela Carlucci and Hannah Nichols subscribe to a two-is-better-than-one music philosophy as they share vocal duties, often singing in unison and bouncing off one another. On their respective instruments, with Carlucci on guitar and Nichols on the drums, the duo play with the same powerfully manic yet controlled pace. Album opener “The Scum” swaggers out of the gate. “What is it you’re running from?” they ask fully knowing the answer: the scum, of course. We catch them at the end of their tether with this selfish person who will try to come crawling back expecting open arms and a cuddle. “And you realize you should have been with me,” they croon with a mixture of mockery and sincere melancholy...not too much melancholy, though.

The fury continues on the reckless “Reaching” as they speed through a profile of a woman who’s slowly drained of her spirits as she makes her way to a casting call. “She’s the real belle of the ball,” they sing with vocal air quotes. At first it sounds like they have no sympathy for this person, but the final line paints a different picture: “Over her picture, he’s masturbating,” they proclaim, referring to a casting director or some horny dude who happened across her photo. The song transforms into ferociously facetious depiction of a woman degraded over time by a society - or, ahem, men - that only values her sexuality, feels threatened by her inner-strength, and turns into a prop for their pleasure. Once a woman reaches a certain age, society decides she’s not even worth objectifying, which they articulate in, “She’s trying to fill a hole / that hole is getting old.” It’s crude, but that’s the point. True Dreams is just doing what any good punk rock band does - rail against the forces, individual or systemic - that try to poison their well-being. To finish the EP, they slow the pace down. The slow-burning “Pavement” meditates on our fleeting existence, which, while fleeting, still bears down upon us, crushing our will until we’re laying on the pavement. It’s a creeping, sinister ending to an explosive debut.


Listen to True Dreams on bandcamp.

Alex Stern is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. He enjoys Hemingway Daiquiris, Frasier, and lox. You can follow him on Twitter @alyman007, but he won't be offended if you don't.