REVIEW: Loaded Dreams: In It But Not Of It
Loaded Dreams: In It But Not Of It [Self-Released, 2002] (mp3s)
Three words? Swirling 90s blur.
With In It But Not Of It New York's Loaded Dreams throws out an EP of spaced-out indie rock; guitars squeal and blur, drums hammer in the back, pop-smooth vocals rise, swirl, fall. Lynda Kady sings sweetly but with a tint of nastiness, and although she needs to push to stay on top of the tunes, she's still able to dress up in some Cousteau Twins gothicism.
Despite Loaded Dreams' shoegazer influences, they appear committed to rock'n'roll melody. "Shine On" blazes with feedback and banshee riffs even as the vocals move forward to an anthemic chorus. The sound is energetic but severely dated; one could imagine this release in 1990, replete with the pink-and-cyan album cover, the lyrics ripped from a highschool notebook. There's something to be said for the way the guitars howl and fill the spaces in "Changes Everything", but it's hard to escape the feeling that Loaded Dreams hope to achieve a sort of transcendence with this music - and fail. At no time does one hear angels singing in the heavens, and any poignancy is undermined by the arena-sized echo of the production. The band has good instincts however, at least with one another: the instrumental elements fuse and twine in a haze that recalls early Yo La Tengo, but fall away too early as Kady begins to sing.
Though less a reinvention and more a retreading of influences, In It But Not Of It is the work of a band who are committed to their aesthetic and are slowly learning to communicate it. The lyrics remain an obstacle that will leave any listener self-conscious and the Pro Tools window-dressing clutters too many songs with empty effects, but underneath it all, Loaded Dreams demonstrates an inkling of what makes a great song, and perhaps even the tools to one day record it.