ALBUM REVIEW: “Dream Reverb” by aheadphonehome (Dan Newton’s Review)


The title of the brand new album from aheadphonehome is “Dream Reverb” and it accurately describes what kind of world you’ll descend into when you hear it. This is music soaked in the kind of lo-fi heat that could only belong to a Brisbane band birthed from the lofly label. At the heart of all of these dreamscapes is one our towns finest Singer Songwriters Phil Laidlaw who uses his talents for constructing amazingly spacious melody lines to infect the rather minimal sounds with a degree of hushed explosion that leaves you totally immersed in blue sunshine.

The strength of this album is the way in which underneath all of the sonic experimentation there lays very simple pop songs. Without directing you to far from what this album sounds like I think it is important for me to highlight that I’m confident that you could strip away all of the sonic’s and you’d still have a wonderful collection of strummed acoustic folk songs that could stand alone on their own as examples of how music should be communicated directly to your soul.

This isn’t a collection of folk songs however; this is a movement of blissed out shiver pop rooted in the sonic mechanics established by genres like post-rock, electronica and of course shoegaze. It’s easy for anyone juggling these genres to slip into cliché but with “Dream Reverb” aheadphonehome have escaped cliché and let their own unique dialogue spill into the genre dynamics they are influenced by. This is a band without an agenda and who play because they have an intense emotional desire to communicate to the external world about all of their complex internal emotions.

An album like “Dream Reverb” is a rare commodity in 2014 in the sense that it borrows so heavily from the past but pushes sound and the idea of weird pop music deep into the future, it truly does go beyond fashion. This music sounds like it should be everywhere and inside everyone’s music players and distributed worldwide as an example of what we should broadcast to the aliens when they finally visit us. We can debate about the relevance of who is making the boldest and most forward thinking statements in our town and if you visit Lambda on a Thursday night you’ll probably be tricked into thinking that the young and the beautiful souls with their manicured sounds and vision are doing their best to push music into radical directions. Unfortunately they are doing nothing more than taking up space and becoming the face of the future “Who?” and for that we should be grateful because in the future people will remember a band like aheadphonehome more than what is current and modern.

The listening experience of “Dream Reverb” took me back the simple revolution of an “In Rainbows” era Radiohead or Tortoise when they informed us that millions of us living will never die. It is a place where the darkness of it all consumes but also leaves a satisfied smile on your face. I believe that aheadphonehome are good enough to take on the world and in 2014 I think it is important that we have more bands like aheadphonehome who are willing to bathe in mainstream obscurity in order to allow for their future legacy to be imprinted on the cultural lexicon.

No matter kind of future you find yourself stuck in or pining for, “Dream Reverb” is a perfect record and a true and pure listening experience. In 2014 that is the rare glimpse of hope that the true believers get, that maybe all of these underground heroes are our future saviours and the key to peace being restored to the galaxy.

Listen to the album here –

By: Dan Newton

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