Review Summary: To compare them to a band, think the Sea and Cake if they wanted to exclusively write pop songs.
Reverie Sound Revue’s EP has been firmly entrenched in my listening habits for a while now, and since their coverage is usually limited to the fact that their vocalist moonlights in Broken Social Scene I thought it would be neat to expose their highly listenable debut to more people than my brother .
To define them using genres as gauges, they seem to be a cross of the Canadian bred form of indie rock propagated by bands like Stars and Broken Social Scene with their own very poppy sterilized feeling. To compare them to a band, think the Sea and Cake if they wanted to exclusively write pop songs.
They bring to mind an unnatural cleanliness,but this isn't to imply the sharp smell of ammonia or uncomfortable doctor visits but a less severe clean, like an idealized city that's sparkling under the moonlight. The vocalist Lisa Lobsinger coo's perfectly throughout the eight tracks in a very personal way which certainly helps this atmosphere. Her vocals are uniformly sparkling and really give songs like ‘In the New’ a human anchor that may have been lost if any other vocalist were used. The lyrics deal mostly with sketchy ideas rather than anything weighty or substantial, perfect for the airy music they accompany.
The instrumentation is spot on throughout, with arpeggiated synth swirls perfectly placed over an always busy bass and chiming guitar which employs a delay pedal that makes sure to distance itself from U2 impersonations. The drums are usually pulsing, and bring to mind nothing so much as a passing rhythmically under bright lights on a highway in the dead of night. They add just the right propulsion to tracks like ‘Walking Around Downtown’ but never overstep their importance.
Clarity is an important aspect of this band, and each instrument sounds distinct, miles away from each other but layered in such a way that to take one away would make the whole thing topple. ‘Cascade’ is defined by a burbling synth line initially, though the composition gradually shifts and morphs to perfectly poppy 'Doo doo's' near the end. To take out any part of the kaleidoscope of instruments or sections would make it practically sparse.
‘Rip the Universe in Two’ is a great place to start with this band, as it gently crashes from one form to another in a style that effectively captures the poppy bliss this band creates, with the addition of melodies that ebb and flow around the back of your head for days. It even features a gleaming wall of voices courtesy of Lisa Lobsinger that swell up when things get really heated.
Reverie Sound Revue have made quite the EP with this release which has made anticipation for their debut LP, due out sometime in 2008 if Wikipedia is to be trusted, unbearable. A definite one to look into for fans of smarter pop.