As the carousel creaks to life, so does Restless Dreams, the sophomore outing for indie rock outfit Western Education. The Lowell, Massachusetts trio's first offering since their 2014 debut LP, Let Your Secrets Out, Restless Dreams focuses their vision into the most cohesive work of their career to date. By closing the gap between the grand synth rock of the Killers and the yearning passion of emo rock similar to My Chemical Romance or the Dear Hunter, Western Education have found their own voice. Restless Dreams is a darker, more intense experience than its predecessor -- less a compilation of influences and more the work of a single entity -- incorporating the mood of post-punk revival groups like Bloc Party and White Lies. Frontman Greg Alexandropoulos pushes his vocals to new and unexpectedly beautiful heights (the dreamy "Vampire Hours" is a stunner), releasing pent-up frustration and aching desire as dramatically as Brandon Flowers. While Will Hunt keeps everything afloat with his elastic bass (especially on the strutting "Whenever You Call"), guitarist Georgio Broufas delivers blistering guitar solos and amplifies the atmosphere with Interpol-esque explorations on tracks like "Running Wild" and the post-punk raver "Skin Deep." That latter track and "Different Animals" stand out as the most addictive and catchy tunes on the EP. While Restless Dreams is just a short seven songs long, it's a quick and sparkling dose of solid dance-rock.
AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung