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Album Review: Cloud Control – Dream Cave

Cloud Control have emerged from a cave in Europe, resulting in their ambitious sophomore album, Dream Cave.

Cloud Control have pulled their 70s-inspired psych-pop through time, taking an adventure into the 80s by layering each track with a variety of atmospheric and electronic textures.

Opening instrumental track ‘Scream Rave’ sets a promising tone for the album, and following with the single ‘Dojo Rising’, Cloud Control brilliantly sets up what could have been a standout release.

‘Dojo Rising’ takes the aesthetic of 2008’s Bliss Release and trans­ports it to an experimental electronic setting.The line between organic and electronic sounds is blurred on this release – especially with the combination of acoustic and programmed drum tracks and in a sense the synthesis of natural and programmed sounds permeates the rest of the record.

However, in the process of creating synth textures, something seems to have been washed out in the process. The tracks that follow the first two see the band with their heart in the right place but failing to create any lasting impact.

‘Moonrabbitt’, with its infectious “ba-ba-das” will surely perch themselves on the lips of listeners whether they like it or not, and the heavy emphasis on 80s synth in ‘Island Living’ and ‘The Smoke, The Feeling’ will excite 80s revivalists everywhere.

However it’s not until ‘Ice Age, Heatwave’ that Cloud Control pick up the slack they left along the way since ‘Dojo Rising’. Here, as with the successive three tracks they find a depth that was lacking throughout the belly of Dream Cave.

‘Tombstone’ hits the nail on the head with a fusion of electronic experimentation and 70s inspired psych-pop. Theres even, dare I say, a brief I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Thom-Yorke moment at 2:00.

‘Dream Cave’ follows; a progressive-folk number with 50s ballad undertones that was inspired by a vision singer Alister Wright had of Roy Orbison crooning in a cave. The result is a blend of progressive-folk, similarly heard on Bliss Release, with 50’s ballad undertones.

Dream Cave is an ambitious attempt by Cloud Control in exper­imentation and redefining their lauded 2008 image created by Bliss Release, and full credit should be granted to the band for not simply recreating their debut. There are some standout tracks on this album that demonstrate Cloud Control’s potential, however it seems the caves have swallowed the missing part of Dream Cave.

Nick Reid

The author Nick Reid

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