Green Dreams – Rich Man/Poor Man (Review, Stream)

by Steven Spoerl

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Let’s start this off by getting unconventional: Green Dreams were the first band to send this site music for review/feature consideration. After being told to keep in touch following that initial exchange, they lived up to their promise of doing so. That led to subsequent coverage of a music video, an incendiary song, and that song’s inclusion on an early best-of playlist. Now, the 7″ that the song “Eye Contact” had been teased from is available for streaming in full- and it sees the band absolutely annihilating their previous high-water mark.

Each of the four tracks on Rich Man/Poor Man feature the band playing with a renewed sense of vigor, a tighter focus, and indulging their heavier hardcore tendencies. With pinpoint precision, the band bludgeons the unwitting into submission by virtue of the high-impact punishment they unleash here. From the opening duo of songs that gives this 7″ its name, the level of confidence on display is almost staggering- but that confidence is earned in full.  “Rich Man” sets the bar high with a furious hybrid of sludge, hardcore, and post-punk. Guitarist and vocalist Jesse Amesmith has never been in finer form, spitting each new lyric out with an astonishing sense of purpose. Equally impressive is the furious rhythm section interplay between drummer Trevor Amesmith and bassist Ben Kruger- something that comes into even sharper focus during the explosive final minute of “Poor Man”.

While the only essential additional thing to be said about Rich Man/Poor Man‘s excellent closing track is that it provides a great end cap to an extraordinary release, it’s probably worth noting that it’s still among the best songs to have been released this year. Even with that being the case, it’s certainly possible that one of the small handful of songs to top it is “Country Mouse”, the one that immediately precedes it. More than any other song on Rich Man/Poor Man “Country Mouse” radiates Green Dreams’ newly sharpened fierceness. Blasts of noise-punk that threaten to verge into the realm of total chaos and tear the song into multiple shreds keep intruding in on the verse while the chorus sounds like it’s fighting to hold itself together. Shards of feedback lash out at the high-intensity guitarwork and the whole thing winds up being an absolutely essential listen (a major tip of the hat is also due to Shaun Sutkus, who worked his usual recording room magic to help give this a subtle, extra kick).

All suspicions of this 7″ being a must-own have been confirmed. What will easily stand as one of 2014’s best at the end of the year is now available for purchase through Cherish Records or Green Dreams’ bandcamp. Don’t miss out on this. Grab a copy while they’re still available.

Listen to Rich Man/Poor Man below and pick it up by following the hyperlink above.