We Still Dream
Something to Smile About


3.8
excellent

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
August 7th, 2013 | 74 replies


Release Date: 08/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Their dreams may “still feel so damn far away”, but We Still Dream are close to realizing them.

Most will agree that in order for pop-punk to be successful, it has to be catchy. More debatable, however, is how instantly infectious it is required to be, since the two traits don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Hailing from the musical hotbed that is Jacksonville-Florida, under-rated quintet We Still Dream most definitely play a catchy brand of pop-punk, but it’s arguable lack of immediacy has resulted in the talented outfit remaining a relatively little known commodity in an over-crowded scene. And while their second LP ‘Something to Smile About’ is an admirable step forward, it isn’t likely to turn them into a household name any time soon.

It probably doesn’t help that the band seem to adhere to the theory of opening tracks bridging releases, with the opening pair here not being as forced as ‘Life’s An Avalanche...’ from predecessor ‘Chapters’, but feeling borderline redundant. One thing they do establish is the more proficient use of dual, backing and gang vocals, with second track ‘Things You Do’ containing the telling lyric “I wanna be young and reckless. I wanna be so infectious”. Things immediately improve from there, however, with songs such as ‘Back To Then’, ‘Ups and Downs’ and hooky lead single ‘Sanity (Growing Up)’ overcoming predictable nostalgic themes by adding satisfying – if not necessarily innovative – twists. Meanwhile, buoyed by an impressive rhythm section, ‘Closer Look’ and ‘Tendencies’ sees We Still Dream extremely comfortable – and arguably more suited – to performing short, sharp and heavy tunes.

The most significant evolution the Floridians make is on the album’s second half, where the band integrate a more pronounced alt-rock aesthetic. It’s not perfectly executed, but is a brave and ambitious move which ultimately pays dividends by not only adding diversity, but providing a point of differentiation to ward against (present and future) stagnation. The growth is best shown on ‘So Much Worse’, an uplifting tune which not only draws the best and most passionate vocal performance from Dustin Monk, but also creates a light and shade dynamic which seamlessly emphasizes both the alternative and pop-punk character of the track. It, along with ‘Turnaround’ and likely live favorite ‘Better Than This’ are real growers, while ‘Dissipate’ fittingly closes proceedings with the best all-round musical performance, as well as the most versatile vocal (both lead and backing) display.

As previously stated, ‘Something to Smile About’ is unlikely to trigger a rapid ascension to stardom for We Still Dream… It isn’t immediately striking or technically innovative enough for that to occur. However, it is a very consistent album which not only reaffirms this band’s base talent, but also suggests a willingness to mature without sacrificing what got them to the big dance in the first place. “It just makes it hard when every one of my dreams somehow still feels so damn far away” sings Monk on ‘Back To Then’. Well, it may feel that way guys, but distinguishing yourselves from the pop-punk pack may well be closer than you think!

Recommended Tracks: So Much Worse, Dissipate, Back To Then & Tendencies.



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2013


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yeah, I'm still here.

Album may underwhelm on 1st listen, but give it a chance.

It won't win over those who are indifferent to pop-punk though.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2013


1687 Comments


"It won't win over those who are indifferent to pop-punk though."

Might be me, but I'll still give this a go. Nice review.

Minor mistake in first sentence though. I think you meant "that," not "than"

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2013


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks for the pick-up. You know you're rusty when the 4th word of the review is a typo... And I had a few re-reads to edit too.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2013


1687 Comments


Haha it's all good. Takes a little while to get back in the swing of things ;)

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2013


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I think this is more consistent than 'Chapters' andcas, although I'm unsure I felt that after my 1st listen. Personally, though, I think their 2 EPS may be their best releases.

Spare
August 7th 2013


5449 Comments


worst album cover/album name/band name ever

Digging: Forth Wanderers - Tough Love

schoonda
August 7th 2013


115 Comments


Just had a listen to Sanity, pretty catchy.

Davey you should check out Light You Up. They share a pretty similar sound to this.

schoonda
August 7th 2013


115 Comments


Just had a listen to Sanity, pretty catchy.

Davey you should check out Light You Up. They share a pretty similar sound to this.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2013


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

"worst album cover/album name/band name ever"

I wish I could disagree.... Well, "worst" may be a small exaggeration.

Noted schoonda. I had not heard of them previously, but now they're on my list.

schoonda
August 7th 2013


115 Comments


they're not very well known, also they went under the name LYU previously. Their vocalist is definitely a key selling point imo

Gyromania
August 7th 2013


16088 Comments


pretty album cover

good review davey

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2013


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Nope, never heard of LYU either.

Thanks Matt. Hey, I saw you got to the 50 review mark a few weeks back. Good stuff. Onwards & upwards to triple figures mate!

Gyromania
August 7th 2013


16088 Comments


cheers! and yah i seriously need to start reviewing more frequently, it took me way too long to hit 50.

going to check this out

omik1116
August 7th 2013


522 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really solid pop punk album - one of the best of the year. The singer is seriously talented.

skoopy48
August 7th 2013


1591 Comments


Whats wrong with the cover? I'll check this out.

Digging: Horse Feathers - House With No Home

ProjectFreak
August 7th 2013


1443 Comments


the cover looks like essence of instagram

Feather
August 7th 2013


1467 Comments


Good review, will check this out.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2013


20155 Comments


nice write-up davey. if this sounds anything like NFG or fireworks then count me in

Digging: Angels and Airwaves - The Dream Walker

NastyCrab
August 7th 2013


328 Comments


I agree Freak. Album art looks like a #justgirlythings tumblr post.

Damus
August 7th 2013


477 Comments


"worst album cover/album name/band name ever" agreed



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