Ray Records (label)
30 September 2016 (released)
09 October 2016
Just when you thought those super-cool and hard-rockin’ Last Great Dreamers cannot possibly surpass themselves, along comes yet another scorching album comprised of 14 tracks that will cement the band’s reputation as one of Britain’s finest.
Transmissions From Oblivion is everything that grunge-laden rock ‘n’ roll should be about. It is a showcase of the band’s undisputed talent and their cheeky yet thought-provoking word-smithery bursting with raw energy!
Marc Valentine (main vox and guitar), Slyder (guitar and vox), Steve Fielding (bass) and Denley Slade (drums) invite the listener to a sonic rollercoaster ride that touches on all those musical references that well and truly matter.
Opener ‘Oblivion Kids’ with its stomping rhythm, Ramones-style riffs and the line “I wanna be the boy that no one can destroy…” could well be an anthem for the current generation X, while ‘that child of Satan and queen of hating’ clearly was the inspiration for ‘Love To Hate Me’ – a kitchen sink drama of sorts that’s oozing with attitude and an infallible chorus. The superb ‘Glitterball Apocalypse’, ‘Dope School’ and ‘White Light/Black Heart’ have already been released (and reviewed on this site), so let’s move on to ‘The Way we Collide’ which is fab little love song (though folks will have their own ideas about this) and is executed in the best harmonious surf-pop/rock manner. It’s breezy and grooving beginning to end. ‘Elegy For Us’ with its stark yet hopeful message (“Everybody holds on to something / Honesty can be a curse / Tell me something that is worse / Give me something to believe in”) is the anti-dote and is possibly one of the strongest songs lyrically, though of course the innocence of the melodious composition belies the dark subject matter. ‘Alone’ is in a similar vein though approached from a different angle.
There’s mighty emotion oozing from ‘Tommy’s Tears’ with its ‘a trip down memory lane’ feel, the entire arrangement smacks of the tuned-in harmony the Dreamers are known for. Fuzzed up and cranked up, ‘Werewolves’ is my personal fave here, and not just because I’m a ghoul at heart. The lyrics lend themselves to so many different interpretations: “Where are the werewolves that chased us into an early grave / Where have the creeps gone on Sunday when we were so afraid…” MY interpretation is that things have just become too bloomin’ boring and that ‘gimme danger little stranger’ attitude has been replaced with a cushy night out in a gastro pub. ‘You don’t Work’ brews up a mighty storm and one can’t help loving its punchy-punky rhythm, while nifty hooks prevail on ‘Misunderstood’. Closing track ‘Turn it Up’ throws us back to the days when labels like Stiff Records ruled the roost and music was a worthy enterprise. Oh, the depth and the fury!
Spiffing stuff, you Dreamers – keep up the good work!