Portland dream-punk band known as Glacier Veins have just released their newest EP titled “Dreamspace”. This is not the first release from the band, but it is, however, their first release through their label Common Ground Records, which they signed to at the beginning of September. With that, they’ve essentially established themselves as a hard-hitting yet dreamy powerhouse that is ready to take the world by storm.
Although I have seen most of these songs in a live setting, it was refreshing being able to now hear it in a studio setting. The EP begins with the song Not Gonna Stay, which gives a good representation of who the band is and what they bring to the table. One minor part that made me double take was around the one minute mark when vocalist Malia Endres lets out a sort of raspiness to her usually soft, yet powerful vocal style. Both bassist Kyle Woodrow and drummer Tyler Groce only add to it by creating a solid backbeat that consistently is spot-on. Overall, a stellar and catchy track.
Headspace Campout was one that was released earlier in September as a music video. While it is the shortest of all 4 songs, it is definitely the one that will get you singing along wherever you are. This song definitely revolves around the vocals, like most of their songs do, but I do love how they use the voice to add texture to the song at points. While it is the typical sort of verse/chorus song, the way that they add elements with each succession makes it a great representation of what they do throughout the album.
Grows Back Slow gave me a Turnover feel right from the start, but of course with Malia adding her own vocal style. Drums and bass add a nice texture, as well as the accompanying background harmonies during the chorus. Provided with a tasteful guitar break, this might actually be my favorite song on the record. Then suddenly transitioning into a hard-hitting bridge section, filled with tremolo picking and skillful drum patterns, which is the highest point on the entire record.
The next track, One, is yet another track that takes us on a journey of sorts. Dynamically it is just as powerful as Grow Back Slow, definitely making it my 2nd favorite track, although not by much. I really love how the guitar adds both melodies and some ambiance which gives Glacier Veins that “dream-punk” sound that many are calling it. The lyrical content is nothing profound, and that goes for most of the record, but not all music has to have some intense message. Rather, Glacier Veins are excelling at making great quality music that you can dance to and still get a message from.
As for the final track, which shares the EP name, Dreamspace gives a great end to the EP. It keeps the same universal sound that Glacier Veins has brought to us, while still differentiating itself from the other songs in subtle ways. Most notably with the guitar effect that comes in around the 2-minute mark, which adds a new sonic element to the piece. Only to end with the lyrics: “So you know where to find me I’ll be living in a …” which is a clever end to not only the song but the EP as a whole.
There aren’t many moments that I didn’t like, but I wish some effort would’ve gone into adding maybe a drum intro to a song or starting off the song with something other than guitar. When every song starts off with guitar, that’s when all the tracks seem to mesh together, leaving the listener unable to discern between songs. None the less, solid effort by the band and I can’t wait to see how they elaborate on this sound with future releases.