Blue Meridian

Blue Meridian

Dream Breathe Scream

Like looking at a familiar picture that somehow, in the middle of the night, morphed slightly — that’s what listening to this CD was like. The songs leapt into my head like a familiar friend, and then began to dance like demons, and I thought to myself, “hey — I don’t know you guys at all.”

I `splain now.

Dream Breathe Scream could certainly be broken down into individual little pieces and declared to be inspired by different styles, genres, whatever — but as a whole, it’s a truly well-crafted musical mural of determined, straight-ahead rock. Lead singer Donovan has an appealing, grainy voice that could come from too many cigarettes but not enough whiskey. Kevin on drums brings in surprising booms and rattles that suggest an affinity for Richard Starrkey. Sensible, and not showy, much like Danny — whose naughty but nice bass lines pour over everything like maple butter. “Even Now” is a more conventional sounding tune, while the bright and shiny intro to “Sideways Silverjet” could easily be the theme song for one of those variety shows that ABC used to show on Friday nights. With Barbara Mandrell. Backing vocals on this one are heavenly, as Donovan sings “I’ve been thinking about you/cause you want me to.” Things get a little heavier with “The Verge,” a track so raw that you can hear the buzz of amplifiers in the background. Chadwick Stienmetz delivers some spooky-ass distortion throughout. A rockin’ soundscape of chimey guitars and oceanic bass. “Go Away” and “Talliensen” are serviceable southern rockers, but it’s “The Final Thing” that sticks like a twisted blade. With its sincerely plaintive opening lyrics “I wanna drown you but I love you/I wanna kill you but I can’t.” It’s a quick turnaround before the chorus screams out in country-flavored harmony. Some delicate piano stylings from Ed Krout put the authentic stamp-of-approval on this tune, an irreverent and nicely crafted piece of songwriting that will be probably be all over MTV by this time next year. Hang out for the bonus track and get a contemplative Donovan and his acoustic and lots of reverb. Check it out.

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