23 March, 2008

Maybe I should start eating breakfast

Let go for just a minute and fall into your own head, drifting in the words that echo there like wind inside a cave. It's probably not as romantic as it sounds, because really you've been thinking about breakfast; that guy who caught your eye in the coffee shop; the inefficiency of sleep; and, of course, that paper that's due just a little too soon. Still, let's hover on that mind-world just for a few more minutes and ponder your thoughts if - for example - you were Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carrol). With a mind like that there had to be some weird shit floating through, but I can bet you anything that it was more interesting than what you or I have going on in our heads.

Bad Dream Good Breakfast is the kind of band whose members, I imagine, have supremely odd and interesting things floating around in their heads. This flowing, floating world translates well onto their Spring '07 album Nothing Broken Nothing Damaged. I realize that I'm reviewing something that's a year old, but it's too good to ignore. Begin your mental exploration with "A Ghost That Couldn't Let Go". It's ethereal, timeless, and very spiritual, yet not ghastly. The song reminds me of a cool spring morning when water vapor funnels off last year's grass. Follow that with "The Urgency of Nightlife and the Temptations that Come of It", which is somewhat plodding and dramatic, with percussion that abruptly dismisses any spirits that might still be lingering in your ears. "Kiss The Ground" has the rhythm of a heartbeat and is a lyrical celebration of the things that you should be celebrating. "Hey Kid, Get Out of Your Cradle" has an exceptionally avant garde feel, and the whispered, layered vocals add an almost geometric feeling. This song is three dimensions in your ears. "Empty Streets" is a song that I've never heard before. By this I mean, there are songs that are new to me because I have physically never listened to them before, but there are also songs that are true originals (basically the whole Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album). "Empty Streets" is both. It captures a loneliness and mental restlessness that only a borderline insomniac could understand. The song is a perfect encapsulation of that mental state - the cerebral ping-pong match - that keeps a normally normal person from sleeping at night.

There are seven more songs that sound equally layered and built from the stuff of dreams; but, the more you listen to the music of Bad Dream Good Breakfast, the more you start to realize that this sound is extremely solid and functional. You could actually live in these dream castles, because they're built of strong musicianship and lyrical stability. Unlike many other experimental bands who try abstraction before mastering reality, Bad Dream Good Breakfast has their musical act together. This band knows their scales and they're also probably fairly well-versed in music theory and history. Listen to Nothing Broken Nothing Damaged and experience the intensity of a musical voyage through the extremely educated and slightly neurotic minds of Bad Dream Good Breakfast. It might not put you to sleep, but it will absolutely keep you entertained while you're awake.

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