Hidden in Plain View

Life in Dreaming

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Hidden in Plain View's full-length Drive-Thru debut, Life in Dreaming, rocks a ringing-guitars-and-rousing-choruses sound very similar to fellow East Coasters like Matchbook Romance and Early November. It's a sound borne right out of the label that houses HIPV, with the influence of '90s alt-rockers like Incubus and Foo Fighters thrown in alongside some slightly harsher cues taken from hardcore. But even if it's suggestive of their peers, Hidden in Plain View's Life in Dreaming still blends its furious and gentle sides confidently, and has a lot to offer to fans of this particular pop-punk faction. Vocalist Joe Reo has a huge, syrupy voice that soars and cracks on lines like "If I could take your pain away/I would scream for you" (he sounds a little like A New Found Glory's Jordan Pundik). His vocals blend nicely with those of guitarist Rob Freeman, who handles the screaming punctuations on "Ashes Ashes" and "Minor Detail." "Innocent Ones" and "Point" are softer, with soul-baring lyrics -- "I'll find some way to cut myself open" -- and choruses that teeter at the top of gently cresting guitars and plaintive string interludes. (The album's slick, professional mix leaves no note out of place.) "Memory" mixes in some cool, Helmet-style chording; "Twenty Below" kicks in with a satisfying crunch and has the album's best guitar work; and the Foo influence is strong on "Garden Statement." Life in Dreaming's sonic similarity to HIPV's contemporaries won't be a problem for Drive-Thru devotees. It's these bands' emotional lyrics that fans respond to, as well as their melodic flair, and Hidden in Plain View has these elements to spare.

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