Maybe We're Making God Sad and Lonely

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From the opening guitar strums of Dreamend's 2005 release Maybe We're Making God Sad and Lonely, it's readily apparent that these musicians have graduated cum laude from the Greater North American Academy of Post-Rock. It seems they've absorbed their course information well, and have capably regurgitated it for the purpose of passing their exams, but are still a long way from drawing up the personal thesis necessary for post-graduate study. It's obvious they've thoroughly researched all the masters: the trilling and chiming delayed single-string guitar lines that build to inevitable overdriven crescendo of Explosions in the Sky and Mono, the patient moments of near silence that are lulling yet disquieting of Sigur Rós and A Silver Mt. Zion, the snippets of found dialog backed by ominous dronescape of Godspeed You Black Emperor!. They've even appropriated the frustratingly gorgeous hand-constructed cardboard packaging of the Constellation and Alien8 Records ethos. Their most distinctive moments are those of actual vocalizing beyond the expanse of their instrumentals where they call to mind similar moments from Yume Bitsu. The music has that tranquil-bliss-to-apocalyptic-climax-and-back-again formula down pat, from the elegiac beauty of "A Place in Thy Memory" and "Can't Take You (Dif)," to the spoken word mood pieces of "In Her Little Bed We Lay Her" and "Mary Cogswell & Fred Vaillancourt," to the evocative travelogues of "Iceland" (again, referencing Sigur Rós?) and "New Zealand." Which sums up this release, at six songs and 35 minutes really more of an EP in the overlong-playing world of post-rock. While a great sounding record with moments of near brilliance, Maybe We're Making God Sad and Lonely is little more than a simulacrum of Dreamend's influences/contemporaries, and it remains to be seen if they will find a unique voice.

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