Review Summary: What sellouts.
Jeromes Dream might as well be one of the most interesting screamo bands of all time. While many might find their vocals intolerable, it’s impossible to deny how powerful their music really was with its shockingly honest screams, grind-esque songwriting a la Orchid, punk lyrics, and nearly flawless experimentation. I really can’t think of any other bands that have made an album that sounds remotely similar to their stellar debut, although this is probably because of their vocals. They really were a band doing things the way they damn well felt were right, all the way up to their ending. They probably could’ve made more, but they only ever released two albums. Both are wonderfully unique and different from one another, but Presents
almost sounds like a different band. It’s always cliché to say such a thing about a band from album to album, but it’s 100% true for Jeromes Dream.
The biggest thing they decided to change was the vocal style on this one. While Seeing
had Jeff Smith ripping his vocal cords out, literally sounding like a murder victim, he had to tone it down on this one. He instead opted for a more traditional hardcore-shout kind of approach, almost like talk-yelling. The result isn’t nearly as intense as their debut, but it seems like they knew this. What I mean is that the instrumental department seems to have improved at a very interesting rate. They decide to throw in tons of weird rhythms, dynamic builds, dissonant chord progressions, and in-studio experimentation. Of course their debut had all of this, but they really push the boundaries on this one. It’s very likely that they alienated a large portion of their fans in the process, but I’m sure they knew this as well. It’s punk, what can you do"
With this and Seeing Means More Than Safety
under their belt, Jeromes Dream should gladly be remembered as one of the most interesting punk bands of the last decade. Both albums sound wildly different, with Presents
mainly being the weird one, and Seeing
being the definitive one. Seeing
is relentlessly emotional and visceral, while this one is much less straightforward in its presentation. Seriously, they ended the album with an instrumental song almost in the vein of some of Fugazi’s instrumentals. But in the end, while it doesn’t reach the drastic bar set by their debut, it does come pretty close. This is basically what Daughters would begin doing around their second album, and we all know how good they were. It’s good and it has passion