Record review: Cloud Control – Dream Cave (2013, LP)

There’s always been something about Cloud Control’s music that has – for me, anyway – fallen tantalisingly short of being quite good. Their 2010 debut Bliss Release was a half decent stab at an indie-rock album, with a few good tunes tucked away amongst a heap of forgettable dross. Clearly attempting to branch out and evolve their sound into something more diverse, they have incorporated elements of electronic music and psychedelia into Dream Cave, and almost every song sounds completely different. The result is a bit of a mish-mash of a record that once again falls short of being anywhere near good. The first two tracks, ‘Scream Cave’ and single ‘Dojo Rising’ are the best on offer and will get your hopes up that this is going to be a cracker of an album, before the rest of the tunes break your spirit and leave you wallowing in disappointment. A swirling haze of hand-claps and reversed vocals start ‘Scream Cave’, and ‘Dojo Rising’ is an effortlessly cool pop song drenched with reverb-soaked ’60s mannerisms. Unfortunately, things go downhill from there, as the cringe-worthy lead vocal on ‘Promises’ leads into ‘Moonrabbit’, which steals too much from ’60s pop melodies to be taken seriously, and ‘Island Living’, which leaves you wondering if this is really all there is. ‘Happy Birthday’ could be a Mamas and Papas track that didn’t make the cut, and the title track is the token attempt at a ballad. Maybe it’ll be third time lucky for Cloud Control. (Ivy League)

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