Guitar, bass, drums, vocals; rock n’ roll has never known a more complete recipe than one containing these four ingredients, and it’s in this sense that Noir Dream is seriously cooking with gas in their new single “Perception Deception.” If you’re looking for processed vocals, synthetic harmonies, uneven beats, or sampled basslines in this track, you’re going to be sorely disappointed by the organic harmonies and depth of melodicism in “Perception Deception,” which uses the aforementioned quartet of elements to drive home what could be the most conservative show of rock muscularity I’ve heard all year.
Noir Dream don’t need a lot of bells and whistles to get the job done in this performance, and really any of the six they give in their new EP Within, and whether you’ve been following their progress from day one or are just now finding out about their sound through the release of this new song, I think you’re going to find their stylish brand of alternative rock to be as natural and unforced as I do. They aren’t getting caught up in virtuosities, which makes them plenty more punk than most of their contemporaries could ever ask to be.
This mix is as slick as anything you would come across in mainstream pop these days, and I would even say that it’s a bit more varnished than it has to be solely for the purpose of fleshing out as much detail within the riffing as possible. There’s a nice tonality to all of the instruments here, and if Noir Dream hadn’t gone with as polished a look in the mix as they did, we would have been robbed of the opportunity to appreciate how much they’re putting into the meat and potatoes of their sound, beyond the compositional side of the music.
The biggest brawn in “Perception Deception” starts and ends with the powerhouse percussion, and even though the vocals wind up wedged in between the drums and the bassline by the second half of the song, it doesn’t prevent the lyrics from matching up with the moodiness of the riffing for anything. This is a well-rounded song, from the way it was arranged to the manner in which these players are bringing it into the spotlight.
Thoughtful guitar rock is beginning to make a serious comeback in the American and Canadian undergrounds at the moment, and it’s almost exclusively because of the moxie that bands like Noir Dream are dedicating to their regional scenes in 2022. The last couple of years have been brutal on indie music in terms of losing a major connecting point between audiences and artists in the form of concerts, but it would appear that Noir Dream has only gotten more immersed in the craft while others have drifted away from their initial aesthetical goals.
“Perception Deception” is definitely some of the best and most provocative material to make it onto record store shelves so far, but I doubt it’s going to be their creative peak at all – this band still has too much to say.
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