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Album Review: Dream Underground by Piano Wire

Coming out of the ashes of the 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Piano Wire release their debut album Dream Underground on 17th February. The aim was to make a massive, chaotic and psychedelic punk rock record.

While Dream Underground on the surface is a good punk rock album, it fails to leave a lasting impression. It’s one of those albums you’ll enjoy for it 35-minute duration but you won’t go rushing back. Perhaps that’s solely down to there being nothing unique or special about it.

Opening duo ‘Get A Life’ and ‘Cherry Coma’ are decent riotous punk rock, but it is completely devoid of soul. This could be any mass produced rock band. There’s obvious nods to the Stone Temple Pilots that threaten to work well but fall flat. A glimmer of hope appears in ‘Outline of a Massacre’ and the chorus of ‘Glass Elevator Music’ but it’s short lived in the end a tad disappointing. The latter should be your go to track, again there’s a hint of Stone Temple Pilots with a smattering of Gold Against The Soul era Manic Street Preachers.

‘All Roads Lead To God’ sounds like a school garage band doing a bad Feeder cover, while you don’t get chance to finish listening to ‘Red Electric Flower’ or ‘Hooligan In The USA’ before you’ve forgotten then.

Dream Underground was recorded over 8 long, intense nights last autumn. The intensity doesn’t translate to record largely due to the production. It’s obvious that there’s something good just below the surface on many tracks, especially ‘Liquorice Junkie’ and ‘Slip Inside The Shadow’, but it all just ends up sounding dull and lifeless.

It’s a shame. There’s tonnes of potential in the songs, perhaps they’ll sound better live, here they’ve somehow managed to wring every bit of excitement and urgency out of each track in abundantly bad production.

AD Rating 5/10

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