You might know Michael Vidal as the frontperson of punk-people Abe Vigoda, but Dream Center, his first solo outing, shows a very different side of his musical thinking. This is a more indie-ish set of guitar pop songs, with a tinge of electronic ambience making up the background. Reissue of the original 2013 cassette, on Captured Tracks / Couple Skate Records.
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 08 July 2015
The sleeve says 33 1/3rd but if that’s correct then Abe Vigoda frontman Michael Vidal sounds very depressed indeed. So I’ve taken the law into my own hands and played it at 45rpm; I’m a maverick you know, I don’t play by no rules. Now the record is sounding very nice indeed.
It’s a lovely take on the type of clipped, economical '80s pop that everyone is playing at the moment. The Wild Beasts influence really has spread worldwide, hasn’t it? And to think when they started up we all laughed at them. Opener ‘Dreams (Come Back To Me)’ is a delightfully crystalline piece of guitar pop with some severe Blue Nile and It’s Immaterial influences going on. The only problem with ‘Correctional’ is that it sounds pretty much the same, but I’m still loving the way the guitars are intertwining with each other. For those like me who missed the Wild Beasts guitarist who was bound on their last LP well that guitar tone is all over this thing. Play both records together and you might get a good album.
Vidal must have heard me moaning about the tracks sounding similar so has opened the B side with a lovely slice of Durutti Column atmospherics. ‘Appraisal’ meanwhile has post rock drums and guitar and vocals with mopy vocals plonked on top. If this lad hasn’t heard It’s Immaterial’s ‘Song’ then he’d better stay away from it. The penultimate ‘Sky Blue’ has descending twiddling guitars and tight rhythms like a Sea and Cake in the rain, the whining stretched vocals and plangent guitars recalling Radiohead's jazzier moments.
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