Dream the Electric Sleep have quickly become one of my favorite bands. The consistent greatness of their first three albums is nothing short of incredible. Ah but there was one album that came BEFORE those albums! The band formed in 2009 but recorded “The Giants’ Newground” in 2008 as a duo of Matt Page and Joey Waters. The album has sat for 10 years now and finally gets to be FULLY released (it was released regionally only).
While bassist Chris Tackett is not on this album, the album did attract him to the band and thus led to the three of them officially becoming Dream the Electric Sleep. Got it? So the biggest question for me was how well this album would stack up against the rest of the catalog. How could a 10 year old virtually forgotten album hold its own against 3 modern prog masterpieces? Well, it turns out that it does it quite nicely!
“The Giants’ Newground” can officially be re-classified as DTES’ debut album. It has their sound and the songs are as strong as anything the band has done. It’s rather mind boggling really. While it would have been nice for Tackett to be on the album (you could have forced the guy to re-record the bass parts!), it has all the soaring vocals, beautiful harmonies, killer hooks and driving percussion that this band is now known for.
The lead track “Home” kicks off with the big chords, killer vocals and powerful drums that DTES are known for. This song immediately serves notice that the band were a full realized band from the start. Like all of their albums, the flow from song to song is both purposeful and masterful. “We Smell the Blood” could have been on ANY Dream the Electric Sleep album. That’s true of pretty much all of these songs.
Of course I have my favorite tracks, “We’ll See” is definitely one of them. I love how relentless the song is. The same can be said for “The Stage.” This is modern prog at its best. It’s crazy to think that these songs have sat for 10 years and yet sound so fresh. “The Giants’ Newground” is one of those albums that you sit there and think “ok, this is a great song” and then the next song comes on and you think that again…and again. “The River Current” is yet another favorite track and then it’s followed by ANOTHER favorite “Sounds Like Magic.” I think magic must be involved here.
Who else can reach into the archives and dust off their lost debut album and have it be so fucking great other than Dream the Electric Sleep? “The Giants’ Newground” sits perfectly along side the band’s catalog. It also makes for a great primer for their new album due out later this year. It’s odd to think that the new album has a difficult task to not only follow three great albums but now FOUR great albums!
2. We Smell The Blood
3. Father Francis
4. This Is My Crowd
5. We’ll Se
6. The Stage
7. One Last Fix
8. It Will All Be Over Soon
9. Black Ink
10. The River Current
11. Sounds Like Magic
15. Head Out of the Clouds
16. Dirt Under Your Feet