The following was originally published on Exclaim.ca.
Blood Sea Dream
By Jessica Lewis
When listening to an album featuring a hollow room sound, you tend to search for the details. The most striking one here is Caleb Nichols‘ voice; it’s like he’s standing right next to you, and with every point of pressure, you can practically see his knees bend or his hands form fists. His touch is initially paired with a distortion-heavy guitar and then with more modest, softer guitar, drums, keys and occasionally, a string section. The combination works for most of the album, when it’s quiet, precious or in the middle ground of chaos, but sometimes each instrument can drown out another and it feels top-heavy. The four-piece from California prove that the devil does lie in the sonic, and lyrical, details, whether it’s letting out the distinctive wails or describing Nichols’ father’s jail time. (Hippies are Dead)