Dream State - Primrose Path
9Overall Score

Dream State, Primrose Path

One of the most anticipated releases of the year is finally here! The already iconic Dream State have finally released their debut album and, we’ve got to say, it’s an absolute cracker. Previous EPs Consequences and Recovery set us up with high expectations, and Primrose Path meets them all. Think whip-fast drumbeats, metal influenced guitars, post-hardcore screams… and you’ve just scratched the surface.

Dream State’s instrumentals are always a glowing attraction, and Primrose Path most definitely delivers on this front. From the get go, Made Up Smile feels like a beast rising, the bass slowly fading into existence before airy guitars and booming drums join in. The track fills your head, the sound incredibly vast. Are You Ready to Live? also shines instrumentally, with an incredibly bounce-y, fun drumbeat throughout and an INCREDIBLE, bright Architects-esque chorus that is impossible to not dance along to.

What is so interesting about this album is the experimentation with other genres – there’s the touching on metalcore, but also some toying with synths and vocal effects on certain tracks. I Feel It Too is subject to this, and the overall effect is a delight. It’s slick and dark, with a booming, HUGE singalong chorus of ‘I can feel what it feels to be like you’ and raw screaming vocals from the amazing CJ Gilpin. The excellent Primrose also feels experimental and rather like a PVRIS track, the overall effect brilliant — it’s fast, begs you to scream along ‘I’M NOT GOOD’, and boy-oh-boy does Gilpin GROWL.

The stand-outs of Primrose Path are definitely those huge, grab-you-by-the-throat tracks, however. Hand in Hand’s iconic scream of ‘FIGHTING FOR OUR LIVES’ is an immediate classic, something you want to hear in a live setting immediately, and the guitar breakdown near the end is simply exquisite. Open Windows’ opening is also an absolute ride, once again taking a metalcore influence, an absolute wall of sound with an impossibly fast tempo. The raw vocals only hammer home the pain of the track, resulting in a truly poignant listening experience.

But one thing that can be said about this album is that Dream State do not rely on NOISE to craft a decent song. Out Of The Blue punches you in the face, opening with a rather eloquent ‘F***!’, with equally vigorous guitars and drums that positively ram this booming track down your throat — but tracks like Chapters are equally as effective. Chapters sees guitarist Rhys Wilcox taking the forefront, and his gentle voice is enchanting. A post-hardcore band that doesn’t fear releasing a stripped-back song is one that you can’t help but respect.

Dream State’s debut may have felt like a long time coming, but Primrose Path is definitely worthy of the wait. A true credit to the scene, Dream State are a band confident in their sound and striving to push themselves to become the best of the best… and we’re excited to follow them on that journey.

Primrose Path is out now via UNFD.