Facebook is an awful sort of place. In the, oh, seven or so years since I’ve used the website it has undertaken a massive transformation. Joining the site after I first got my .edu address was a big deal to me, I could finally access the site that wasn’t Facebook. During my time in college, it would morph into an open free-for-all, get a critically-acclaimed movie about its origin, and become the place where distant relative and the misinformed posted their e-mail forwards.
When I was younger, I would add friends with little to no discretion, because who cared? I’ve slightly changed that over the years, hell, I won’t add anybody. Facebook is still kind of useful, though, because sometimes you find interesting stuff. Doug, a guy I know through friends, posted an album one of his friends made the other day. Now, if you are my age, are from Hampton Roads, and know anyone in the music scene, you know Doug. You just do.
He linked to this SPIN article about his friend James Nee (whole name in the linked article) and his duo Dream Shake. They’re apparently from here, though I’ve never heard of them playing any shows (I am also getting old). Nonetheless, the duo signed to New York label Frenchkiss and will put out their self-titled album on October 8th. Thankfully, it’s streaming on SoundCloud over on SPIN.
Dream Shake’s sound is well executed, if kind of boring when put up against their peers. Take the track “Buffy”, for instance. It has a nice chugging guitar that eventually leads way to some soloing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a higher-energy Deerhunter song. Dream Shake’s influences are a heavy winter coat on a slightly interesting t-shirt you never get to see because it’s too damn hot.
Elsewhere on the album, James Nee channels acts like Wild Nothing, Grizzly Bear, and of course a good helping of late 80s/early 90s shoegaze. For whatever reason, the tracks “Rachel” and “Ashe” kind of remind me of Wild Nothing. Discussing the Brooklyn-via-Blacksburg band is one of the strangest things for me to do. Frontman Jack Tatum was a classmate of mine, and it’s always surreal to see his name mentioned in the indie press when he puts out a new album. He and his band have now reached a point where they can be considered “Recommended if You Likes”, and this is part of how I would describe Dream Shake.
For a project debut, Dream Shake is a pretty damn solid starting point. Personally, I’d like to see what would happen if some of the layers of distortion were taken off, going forward. While it isn’t the most spectacular of records, it does find itself as a better offering amongst several other bands offering up the same thing at this time. Chalk it up as another win for a Virginia band.
Recommended If You Like: Deerhunter, Wild Nothing, Twin Shadow, Shoegaze