[sic] Magazine

Fever Dream – Moyamoya

Reviewed by Paul Lockett

Let’s start off with Club AC30 Records. What a super-cool label. I’ve discovered some of my favourite acts of the last 10 years through this label – The Domino State; Exit Calm; Tripwires; Ringo Deathstarr – they’ve all released material on there at some point. Fever Dream have some very large footsteps to fill, but more on that in a while.

Remember when 4AD Records used to sign bands such as Pale Saints, Ultra Vivid Scene and Lush? That’s what Club AC30 do now. They’ve become the label of choice for the disaffected youth, releasing music which kind of mirrors what goes through the mind of a 20-something year old. You’ve probably read about that Zayn geezer from One Direction in the papers recently, who reputedly said that he’d had enough of being in a band and simply “wants to be a normal 22 year old”. From that I’m assuming that he wants to swap his charmed existence for a zero-hours contract, £40,000 worth of student debt, sky-high house prices and declined applications for jobs & mortgages. Or maybe not. It’s probably just as well, as bands such as Fever Dream wouldn’t exist and songs like ‘Watch You Sleep’ would be written only in mad people’s imaginations. If all the 20-somethings were a bunch of happy bunnies we wouldn’t then have the fortune of hearing Fever Dream’s debut album. Instead, we’d all be hanging around on street corners discussing the finer points of ‘Mama’ by Spice Girls.


Thank goodness for the disaffected youth, then. Moyamoya (great title, by the way) is the debut album by three-piece Fever Dream. It kicks off with the aforementioned ‘Watch You Sleep’ – and it’s fabulous. There’s a pulsating bass which throbs throughout the track. And what an incredible chorus!! It’s like they’ve put My Bloody Valentine, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart & The Mighty Lemon Drops into a blender and mashed it all up into something really special – The Pains of Being Bloody Lemons, maybe. Anyway, if I have any doubts about ‘Watch You Sleep’, it’s simply that it’s too short. About 25 minutes too short. Yes, it’s that good. Next up, ‘Serotonin Hit’, the first single to be released from the album, contains more of an urgency, it’s more thrashy and hugely melodic.

Things don’t slow down until we hit ‘Glue’ – the open space on this track works really well. That’s not to say the guitars aren’t present and correct, they simply don’t scream as loudly in your face as during the opening tracks. That’s until we hit 3 mins 30 secs when all hell lets loose and everything’s all the better for it. ‘They Live’, named after one of John Carpenter’s best movies about alien beings living amongst us on Earth (I’m jesting – but it’s such a good movie it’s definitely worth a mention!), is certainly much more upbeat than its movie namesake. I really like the chord progression from the verse into the chorus and it works well in nicely breaking up the two halves of the album.

Fever Dream certainly deliver some big choruses. ‘Dance Forever’ has one of those choruses which you can’t shift from you head for days. Where many of the tracks are bittersweet in terms of sugary-sweet melodies over layers of distorted guitars, ‘Flux’ has a darkness which displays a rare edge to the band. It’s more post-punk than any other track on the album. It would also work really well as a single.

There are one or two misgivings – Adey Fleet’s vocals are slightly lower in the mix than I’d prefer – it’s music which you’ll really want to sing along to, if only you could clearly make out what vocalist Adey Fleet is singing – but the album delivers on a number of accounts. It’s refreshing that music such as this – call it what you will, shoegaze, alt-rock, slowcore – is being released in 2015. Realistically, it’s an album which sounds like it could have been released at any time since 1990, but more than anything, it’s exciting, urgent music which demands to be heard. It’s even available on purple & blue vinyl with red, blue and clear splatters – which looks amazing, by the way. Now that’s special.

‘Moyamoya’ is released on 27th April 2015.

Official webpage