Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Thankfully Dreamsalon are nothing like Cheap Trick. What they are like is one great-ass band with three dudes who've been in some of our favorite bands of the past ten or so years. Min Yee was in A-Frames, and also Le Sang Song, I think. Matt Ford was in Factums and some version of the Intelligence. Craig Chambers was in the Lights, who for years did there thing pretty quietly from Seattle, while touring with Oneida, the Obits and regularly charting on KEXP and cetera.

Dreamsalon is, in my mind at least, a continuation of Craig's post-Lights output (Le Sang Song, Love Tan and this, I think) and their 2013 LP "Thirteen Nights" made our end of year list for being so goddamn good. Dane Hansen, from whom I know about Dreamsalon, wrote a good piece for the Montana Kaimin, we're gonna include it here verbatim, because I think he captures it:

"Gothic script, gold lettering, dim lighting and tired eyes: the cover of the debut from Dreamsalon hints at some of the truisms of life in the Pacific Northwest: the winters are long, cloudy and either rainy or snowy, depending on your location. Poverty drives artists indoors, where our skin becomes pasty and our minds turn to mush, while we anxiously await easy summer living. It’s not hard to imagine some similarities between us and the Ice-Age cave painters at Lascaux, huddled away from the wet and cold for unreasonably boring, long periods. Any form of creative output becomes an exercise in retaining health and sanity.

Which is not to say that Dreamsalon remotely resembles anything healthy or sane, nor does anything from their scene. Hailing from other brain-scrambled Seattle groups like A-Frames, Factums, and the Lights, Dreamsalons’ members have honed into composing cavern-bop hits. Guitarist Craig Chambers’ signature guitar riffs seemingly work both backward and forward in a hypnotic loop, a trick he’s learned through countless hours of screwing around with home-recording, vinyl hoarding and a healthy Michael Yonkers obsession. Every tone and utterance by Chambers is run through some sort of echo-y delay, resonating into a wild, haunted feeling.

The discipline factor of Matthew Ford and Min Yee keeps things in a more recognizable garage form, albeit a grungy, repetitive one. (Ford and Chambers previous collaboration, "Love Tan" is more like noise-induced sex-mania than rock’n’roll). The two sometimes play off each other in a galloping, fool-of-fortune way, like on the dreamy, tropical tracks “In the Air,” and “Splits,” but are equally capable of setting the stage for really sinister, inky-black weirdness like the quintessential creep-out sessions “On the Bus,” and “Every Man, Woman, and Child.”

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