Fever Dream Horror Scene - EP

For many audiences, the artwork of a record is oftentimes a major selling point as well as creates an expectation for what the music will sound like when the listener plays it for the first time. When I first saw the artwork of Fever Dream Horror Scene’s new self-titled EP, I was immediately intrigued; I wasn’t sure what I was going to hear from the mesmerizing mix of what seemed to be sticks and branches. For me, this was exciting. As I had hoped, in the opening seconds, I realized that the artwork was a beautiful summary of the essence of who Fever Dream Horror Scene truly are. This EP is such an enthralling combination of shoegaze and post-punk that it transports the listener to the very grey, rainy afternoon in the practice space in Indiana in which this material was conceived.

The instrumentation of the opener to this EP, “Blue Blood”, is heavily reminiscent of Sonic Youth while Matt Leetz and Shannon Brandon’s vocals deliver a hypnotizing, gloomy mood throughout the piece. This track is followed by “Teething”, a song that is riddled with a winding guitar riff and otherworldly, haunting vocals. In the last minute of the song, the guitar sounds as if it is trying to jump out of the speakers and attack the listener. This guitar tone is extremely grimy and a great dynamic change in the track. Finishing the first half of the EP, “Benedictation” begins with delay-heavy guitars but quickly dives into a cacophony of distortion, Sam Glidewell’s intense drumming, and passionate vocals. The song is a great blend of the stylings of post-punk act New Order and 1990s alternative rock bands like The Offspring and Nirvana.

The fourth track, “Reliquary”, is covered in guitar riffs reminiscent of indie rock legends Built to Spill, ultimately swelling until bursting into a guitar-laden eruption. This song is a perfect contrast from the other moments on the EP without straying too far from the band’s original sounds. Next, “Nascar” alternates between a sludgy verse and a rather melodic, catchy refrain. For me, this track is one of the standouts on the EP. At the end of the song, all aspects of the music are turned up to the dirtiest, highest intensity possible, blooming into an aggressive discordance for the final moments of the track. The use of dynamics in this track specifically creates many compelling and powerful moments. Ending the record, “Shill” is Fever Dream Horror Scene’s most progressive song on this project. Starting with clean, dissonant guitars, the track then moves into one of the best vocal performances on the piece, climbing up to a bridge that constantly builds. A sudden beat switch at the end of the track is a beautiful end to this carefully crafted work.

Fever Dream Horror Scene’s new self-titled EP is a refreshing take on the gothic sounds of early 1980s mixed with an exciting new twist provided by a more DIY, gloomy attitude. This is a perfect listen for your next grey, rainy afternoon. Released through Sister Cylinder, Fever Dream Horror Scene can be streamed through the links provided below.

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Written by Dylan Fitch (@DylanFitch3)