Natural Dreamers

Natural Dreamers

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More scattered than Deerhoof but less shattered than Curtains, Natural Dreamers allow guitarists Chris Cohen and John Dieterich, along with Dilute drummer and Deerhoof producer Jay Pellicci, to arrive at a very happy (and playful) medium between two of their most prominent projects. On their self-titled debut album, Natural Dreamers craft brief, beautifully broken pieces like "Cone Corners," which over the course of its two-minute lifespan moves from pretty, post-rock atmospheres to fractured surf rock to sunny strumming that recalls Deerhoof. Cohen and Dieterich are both instantly recognizable guitarists, so Natural Dreamers' occasional resemblance to Deerhoof is understandable; however, Natural Dreamers is its own thing, wilder and far less song-oriented than even Deerhoof's earliest work, even on the songs that most resemble that band, such as "Professional Dreamer," "The Singer," and "The Big Switch." But even at its woolliest, the band is never abrasive, and the interplay of guitars and drums on pieces like "The Natural" and "Alphabet" is more ordered than it initially seems. And on the tracks that seem the most composed at first, such as the relatively poppy "The Singer" and "Arthur," there's enough coloring outside of the lines to keep the music challenging. Along with one of the album's most sustained guitar assaults, "The Golden Pond" features the burbling analog synths that made the Curtains albums so charming, while "Diamond Mines" manages to be one of the album's most chaotic and catchiest tracks. Even though it's not quite as essential as Deerhoof's or Curtains' albums, Natural Dreamers is still a very entertaining effort from some of San Francisco's most creative -- not to mention busiest -- underground musicians.

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