Dreamtime is not a band I have come across before and, as far as I know, the band’s albums have had very limited Australian releases. All that is about to change, however, with Captcha Records/ Cardinal Fuzz launching represses of the band’s first two albums (see a review of second album, Sun, here).
The debut, eponymously titled, album comes straight out of the traps with ‘Bermuda’ a track that takes on a number of 60s psychedelic genre including garage and surf with some Morrison-style vocals. Then, as if influences have been duly acknowledged the band really get down and dirty into their thing, sounding not unlike The Heads which, let’s face it, is no bad thing.
If you though that was dirty next up is ‘Slag’, which is a zoned out fuzzed up number that contrasts silky female vocals with lo-fi instruments that bring to mind early Sleepy Sun, before breaking for cover into a hyperdrive of distortion. ‘Gympie’ is a typical slow-burn psych number with tinges of surf rock, lots of eloquent wah wah guitar washing over you like the ocean; Dick Dale with added acid. ‘Robe’ is a more complex and altogether heavier beast that points to some similar influences as such as Kikagaku Moyo, with whom Dreamtime have shared a stage. Like many other Dreamtime tracks this has more than one thing going on and is particularly satisfying as it breaks out into some really nice harmonies at around three minutes, then further transfigures into a heavy fuzzy psych track with a magnificent locked in groove towards the end. This was my pick of the album because of the way it passes through the psych genres, showing a band early in its development really testing itself out.
Last up is ‘Eve’ which, at just over nine minutes promises to be yet another journey though the bands influences. Sure enough it starts fairly conventionally but soon starts to transmogrify into something more esoteric as the guitars get more distorted and the rhythms get more fragmented. The track increasingly comes to resemble a jam, and also starts to send signals about where Dreamtime might be going next since the latter part of ‘Eve’ has more of the experimental feel of ‘Sun’.
To say that this album is eclectic would be an understatement. Most of the tracks are in of themselves eclectic and show a band that, while still discovering itself, is not scared to take risks…which is just what happen next on Sun.