Thunder Dreamer
Capture


4.0
excellent

Review

by Rudy K. STAFF
June 8th, 2017 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Vast, open sky, loneliness and heat.

Willingly inseparable from the nondescript Indiana town that birthed them, indie quartet Thunder Dreamer check several cozy boxes that have critics throwing around labels like “heartland rock” and calling it a day. Capture has it all: evocative, textured guitars that chime and soar rather than riff; a palpable sense of wide-eyed, windswept atmosphere; an appreciation for the simpler things in life, like the deep-seated existential dread that suffocates those stuck in a city trying to remember its past. In a recent interview with Stereogum, the band described their hometown, Evansville, Indiana, as one of those old American factory towns where people used to build things with their hands, but now is all but passed over by the 21st century. Drummer Corey Greenfield, speaking succinctly: “No one ever gives a good enough effort around here.” Thunder Dreamer’s music – formerly a solo vehicle for singer Steven Hamilton but now a more collaborative effort – fits that feeling of helpless ennui like a worn pair of gloves.

The touchstones are plentiful and familiar. There’s a lot of Modest Mouse and Manchester Orchestra in the emo revival vibe, moody, atmospheric guitar tones and Hamilton’s uncommonly bright vocals, crackling with a straightforward clarity that is hard to find in any of the genres that Thunder Dreamer crib from. But Hamilton’s guitar stretches and twists like gauze, and the band prefer enough coats of reverb to fill an empty silo. These elements of shoegaze and post-rock turn the fundamentally classic melody of a track like “Living Like the Rest” into a stirring emotional crescendo and the album’s structures as a whole into meandering explorations of times and places. A firm grasp of dynamics gives tracks like slow burning opener “Why Bother” and the desperately insistent anxiety of “St-Malo” a certain elusiveness, transforming songs steeped in Americana and wet, humid summers into something versatile, new, and exciting. First single “You Know Me” is a particularly lucid piece of sparkling dream pop, yet one that effortlessly elongates into an anthem with some muscle and a bite behind it. For a band building with so many familiar blocks, it’s impressive how much of Capture feels ultimately refreshing.

It’s a fine trick, juggling so many influences they risk being buried faceless beneath them. But in Hamilton’s earnest delivery of plainspoken lyrics and that unadulterated voice, strong and clear enough to break through a muggy, still Midwestern day, Thunder Dreamer have their trump card. “Why am I here" Months turn to years,” he sings on the rollicking, cascading fills of “The Bridge,” Zach Zint’s keyboards plinking out a lovely counterpoint above, and for all its inherent angst, there’s a bit of the rhetorical in Hamilton’s question. Thunder Dreamer have found their sweet spot with this love letter to the circular roads and deserted workshops of middle America, the heat and despair that bakes itself deep into its buildings and its people and forms its own desolate, lonely beauty. Why ever leave"




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user ratings (29)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
klap
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2017


11756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Living Like the Rest" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFZtr-AT1YY



Bandcamp: https://thunderdreamer.bandcamp.com/

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2017


1874 Comments


this is such a good review. i love your writing
album is something i'd probably like too so i'm gonna check it out

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2017


19634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this looks yummy...similar artists intrigued me but this review confirmed that I have to give this a shot.

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2017


5446 Comments


This sounds incredible; it was your TWOD review that made me check Lost In The Dream (now a hard 5), so I'm gonna trust your heartland/emo ear and give this a bash.

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2017


5446 Comments


Getting a strong Foxes vibe from some of the vox here
EDIT: Foxing, my bad ._.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2017


19634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is "pleasant" in every sense of the word

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2017


11756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ahhh yeah, Foxing is a solid rec for this



thanks all

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2017


19634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a tame, more post-rock version of Foxing but the comparisons are there. I liked the 3rd and 2nd to last tracks the best, def got some chills

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2017


11756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same, Living Like the Rest is my favorite

ProjectFreak
June 8th 2017


2173 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I adore the production but none of the melodies grabbed me after a few listens

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2017


19634 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah my only complaint really is that Im not the biggest fan of the lead singer's vocal delivery

ProjectFreak
June 8th 2017


2173 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, at his best moments he gives a bit of a Stephen Christian vibe but those are few and far between

tacos n stuff
June 8th 2017


2700 Comments


this looks tasty af

Sinternet
June 8th 2017


14833 Comments


that recommended section makes me horny

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
June 8th 2017


5769 Comments


Wow something interesting coming out of my home state, that's a sight I never thought I'd see

klap
Staff Reviewer
June 8th 2017


11756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ya that's a Sputnik-baiting recommendation list if I've ever done one

CaimanJesus
June 8th 2017


2926 Comments


sounds like something I'd like

Digging: Disbelief - Disbelief

CaimanJesus
June 8th 2017


2926 Comments


also whats up with people using shit like tasty and yummy as adjectives for describing music

henryChinaski
June 9th 2017


3883 Comments


Sounds really interesting, embedded track is good. Will check out.

Nice write-up!

Digging: Kiasmos - Blurred EP

Pangea
June 9th 2017


2712 Comments


this looks interesting



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