Looking at the title of Dreamend’s new album, and adding the knowledge that it was lyrically inspired by the writings of a serial killer, the last you’d expect is the accompanying tunes to be lush, light and almost happy. This unexpected juxtaposition of upbeat music against very dark-themed lyrics makes “So I Ate Myself, Bite by Bite” an intriguing album. However, while conceptually interesting, not sure the tunes stack up to the notion.
This cinematic album is latest from the Black Moth Super Rainbow member, and is laden catchy hooks, banjos and almost a hippy joy. Of course, all of this is comes crashing down once you realize that sing-a-long contains lyrics such as, “I can’t believe it’s just yesterday; I clean my hands and wash the blood away,” on the song “Pieces.”
The opener, “Pink Cloud in the Woods” starts lovely with dancing, tinkering bells on this mostly musical track. Seemingly innocent as the lyrics repeat, “I walked through the woods; It was a rainy day.” The track is merely situating the stage for the frightful descriptions in the lyrics to come. It is very film-like in that it’s setting up the downward spiral and the impulses of an unstable man who is capable of some gruesome acts. And no matter the buzzing, swirling light and whistles that pop up in the tunes, this is some dark stuff.
The standout is the banjo-heavy track, “Magnesium Light.” This bright sweeping tune has the killer in a positive headspace and the tune matches the mood with lightly layered instrumentation over lyrics, “I love the sun.” In this place, song and lyric meet and create something more conventional perhaps, but it works.
While “So I Ate Myself, Bite by Bite” is certainly an attention-grabbing album from start-to-finish, it’s not one you would likely gravitate to for casual listening. It’s an out of the ordinary concept for this journey of an album. It’s kinda like “Requiem for a Dream” in that when you want to watch a movie, it’s highly unlikely you will choose that among all the others for spontaneous watching. Entering the mind of akiller just isn’t a pleasant experience regardless of the catchiness of the song. And while novel for a listen, the tunes aren’t strong enough bogged down with such heavy lyrics to withstand multiple rotations.
Words: Lori Bartlett
Download some FREE tracks from Dreamend’s “So I Ate Myself, Bite by Bite” below!