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Review: Abe – ‘Daydreamer’

by admin August 26, 2020

Review: Abe – ‘Daydreamer’

A young artist from San Antonio, Abe is currently on the verge of a promising music career. A talented musician and tireless worker, Abe wrote and recorded his new album in a month, keeping the process together through the pressure of two labour jobs and working to keep his house day and night. As a platform for the album, he went back to his archives, reigniting the spark of a few choice tracks and combining them with new, original cuts that glisten with an old school punk energy.

A constant perfectionist as well as a dedicated artist, Abe released the album despite the constant pull to rework and refine his tracks, pushing the album steadily forward in the hopes of jump-starting his career. A fine work of solidly built foundations, ‘Daydreamer’ is an album of perseverance, created through hardships and recorded in a makeshift bedroom studio.

Offering thirteen songs in total, the album begins with a series of blues-tinged guitar chords, signalling the opening bars of ‘Love Maker’ in drastic, abrasive form. Almost immediately you can hear the issues with the production that Abe has prefaced the album with, and as the track intensifies, so too does the distortion, breaking down the post-punk melodies into a murky maelstrom of frantic sounds. Spiked electric guitar howls and Abe’s gritty vocals intermittently burst on to the scene, and by the time that ‘Love Maker’ comes to a close, you’re left speechless by the relentless hiss of the rough-cut epic.

A strong, untamed track, ‘Love Maker’ is only the beginning, and as the album creeps forward you’re struck by a series of relentless grunge-inspired cuts. Second track ‘Not My Problem’ begins with a Cobain-like vocal drone before descending into a rougher, rock ‘n’ roll melody, while lead single ‘Butterfly Woman’ uses the distortion and heavy funk influences to its advantage, offering a dense mix 80’s sounds that ring with an indelible force. There are new surprises at every turn, with Abe’s focus shifting in an instant, capturing more evocative, acoustic lo-fi ramblings on ‘I’d Be Lying’ and the title track, and more post-hardcore flourishes in ‘Serpentine’.

As an album, it’s a hard release to judge, because there is obvious and unyielding potential in each track, and just like bands like Iceage or Protomartyr, the distorted post-punk sounds work wonders to bring a sense of grit and authenticity to the songs, hiding any flaws with a smokescreen of softly abrasive sounds. It’s wonderfully DIY, but also painfully cluttered, leaving you constantly wondering what lies beneath the layers of murky fuzz.

Possibly one of the strongest and most divisive new album we’ve come across, ‘Daydreamer’ has a spark about it that could easily ignite the airwaves and influence a wave of new musicians, if only Abe had the support that he needed to really bring his vision to fruition. Time will tell what will come next, whether it be the demise of an impressive talent due to the heavy workload, or the rise of a devastating new artist. We certainly know which possibility we’re hoping for.

Score: 8/10

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