When an album’s artwork is so eerily similar to a horror/sci-fi movie poster, you and I both are going to turn our heads. I can think of movies out of both genres that this album cover brings to mind without skipping a beat. Needless to say, I’m going in. We’re going to listen to Puppet by The Dreaming.
The first track, incidentally the title track, is compelling in a way that at first will baffle you. The band sounds like a mix between UK band LostAlone and the ever-popular Disturbed from the US. Sounds like an odd combo, doesn’t it? It does to me, too, when I put it that way. The lyrics are fantastic and it’s a good solid intro to the album.
Every Trace brings even more notes of LostAlone to my ears, mixed with a tad of anything you’d hear on a good rock radio station right now. Not the most unique sound in this song, but the back and forth of the drums and guitars is pleasing. During the verses, your ears get an enjoyable break with singer Christopher Hall (formerly of Stabbing Westward).
Breathing is a track that is out in left field on its own. While firmly grounded in rock, the mastery of the general sense of rhythm in this song is out of bounds. Nick Quijano and Rich Jazmine are slaying it on the guitars on this track and it’s noticeable. And the lyrics remind me of something Anberlin would produce.
My favorite on the album comes in the form of It’s No Good. With a slight futuristic vibe, this song rips through four minutes and twenty-five seconds effortlessly. Johnny Haro is doing some great things with the drums in this song, keeping my feet tapping the entire way through. The vocals are crisp and cleaner than ever in this one. Hall has one of those voices that just works with rock music – slightly melodic, but with a rough enough edge that he can balance over top of the bass lines provided by Martin Kelly.
The Dreaming wraps things up with Always and Never, a mid-tempo song for the band that shows a wider range of their talents than any of the other songs. Musically, vocally and lyrically, this song stretches the band’s limits and sets new goals as it sends the album off into the black hole that is our world.
Though I knew literally nothing about this band before I took a listen to their album, I’m pleased someone pointed out the album cover to me since it drew me in. With their talent and experience, I’m surprised this band doesn’t have a bigger following. The music is solidly rock, leaning toward the heavy alternative side, with some great lyrics, harmony between all of the instruments, and enough variation to keep you interested. This is absolutely a band to watch.
It’s No Good (track 8)
Breathing (track 3)
Always and Never (Track 12)