Mean Dream// Mean Dream
Summer Bummer Records
Recommended Track: Mean Dream
Post-punk and shoegaze are tough genres to be involved in as an upcoming band for with them come the inevitable and unfair comparisons to the likes of Joy Division, New Order, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, and a slew of other bands that have become so increasingly popular these days that you’re certain to find yourself a new Unknown Pleasures t-shirt at the local Hot Topic. But why can’t a band dream meanly of breaking free of these expectations and creating something in the genre that they can be proud to call their own? I believe that band to be Mean Dream. Formed by Bela Messex and Ellie Gordon, Mean Dream of Los Angeles have recorded a fresh and modern post-punk album with their self-titled EP, recently released on cassette from local underground label Summer Bummer Records.
Energetic opening track “Full of Holes” does well to hook the listener in, introducing the compelling vocals of Ellie and a chorus backed by Bela. The namesake track “Mean Dream” is contentedly dark and brooding, including accompanying synth that creates an ethereal sci-fi vibe in the essence of Blade Runner‘s decrepit 2019 Los Angeles. The lyrics have a decent bite too: “You think you’re the baddest thing this town’s ever seen, but let me tell you baby, I just choose not to be mean.” “Swamp Thing” is slightly earthy during the song’s introduction, mixing synth with background ambience of a cricket-filled night. “Boomerang” continues Mean Dream’s use of intensely loud guitar during crescendos, mixed well enough as to not detract from the rest of the band. “Sugar Sleep” works as a duo betweeen Ellie and Bela, before ending in a crazed discord of guitar, drums, and bass. The final tune “Twist Into Gold” returns to the aggressive feel of the album’s opener, ending Mean Dream off on a more lively note.
Sure, you could make a Siouxsie and the Banshees reference, or say that Messex sounds a bit like Ian Curtis on “Sugar Sleep”. But let’s give Mean Dream proper credit for being Mean Dream. What apparently began as a super lo-fi synth pop effort, Mean Dream has now skillfully evolved into a full four-piece band capable of recording the polished product that is the Mean Dream EP. If you missed their show at the Satellite on August 26th, be sure to support Summer Bummer and Mean Dream by picking up their slime-green cassette in the very near future.