Available on: Fevers EP, AMDISCS Cassette / free download
Okay, so there was Salem, a band who tossed shoegaze in a cauldron and stirred in some Big Black, some chopped and screwed hip-hop, a whole jar of 808 drums and a sprinkle of R’n’B. And the music that came out was called drag. Or it was called witch house, depending on who you want to believe. Anyway, this whole thing is now a genre – except it’s not really, it’s just something that some journalists and bloggers said to categorise a new movement of artists, some of whom, like oOoOO, sound a bit like Salem, others of which, like Balam Acab, don’t.
You following? Good. Because now there’s a new genre called screwgaze. Except like witch house and drag, it’s not really a genre, it’s another word that some journalists and / or bloggers came up with the other day to describe Fevers, an EP by Providence act Dream Boat that apparently represents the next evolutionary step for drag.
The centre-piece of Fevers is actually a cover of oOoOO’s ‘NoSummr4U’, titled ‘oOchre’, and whereas the original was a syrupy ballad not far removed from the sort of synth-work Joker made his name with, this stretches the vocals to the point where they’re screaming, and cuts and slashes into the synth melodies with clashing drums. And we mean clashing – if the first thing you do when the 808s hit isn’t pause the track to check that you don’t have two things playing at once then you’re more experimentally-minded than us.
At times, it’s eerie and beautiful – such as the last few seconds, when the drums have dispersed and you’re left with the sort of helium-voiced angels that must sit on Just Blaze’s right hand shoulder. At other times, you’ll wonder whether Fevers is a step forward or a step back. But hey, it’s a step – you don’t want to be left behind, right?