CD Review: Awake To A Dream – Living The Immoral Life

Posted: December 27, 2011 by Windsor Zene in CD Releases, CDs, Previews, Reviews

One more band is looking to add their name to the list of notable releases of 2011, and they’re doing it at the last possible moment. Or maybe the first possibl;e moment for releases of 2012.

On New Year’s Eve at The Coach and Horses,Windsor’s post-grunge outfit Awake to  a Dream will be releasing their six song debut EP Living The Immoral Life.

The album opens with an outdoor ambience which lasts twenty three seconds, just on the edge of being too long. When the instrumentals kick in, you’re hit in the face with some full, rich sounds that shortly thereafter dissolve into some very upfront, very unique vocals. Titled Solstice, the lyrics to this track either inspired the band’s name, or the name inspired the song, but either way, both in lyrical content and music this song is a great introduction to the band. The song itself flows in a way that emphasizes the different elements of playing and production until a sudden break around the 3:20 mark. Here, we are suddenly hearing the band through a telephone before the full frequency spectrum returns, reminding you of how nice the tones of everything actually are. Close on outdoor ambience.

The cut from cicadas to a more rock-influenced song is a bit surprising, but that’s what these guys are about. Here on Tainted we find not only a faster tempo, but crunchier guitars, a more rock influenced beat, and an overall heavier sound. Chris Wilbur’s vocal stylings are certainly better suited to this yelling, chanting, wholly more aggressive sound.

With Shadows we’re back to birds and bugs, but layered under the simply played, nicely reverbed electric guitar, it sounds pretty great. This song is like compressing the first two into one, in that it starts off suggesting something slow and rather soft, and then suddenly turns into something far beefier, if not exactly upbeat.  Throw in some creepy whispers, thickly layered vocals and rolling drum beats, and this track holds a fair bit of interest. The drum sounds on this one are pretty awesome; huge and deep in a way that belies the bedroom it was recorded in.  Thumbs up to the arrangement on this one.

The aptly titled Youth talks about growing up and coming to terms with the world. Slower and more lyrical-based, this song really channels the 90’s grunge that Awake To A Dream seems to take influence from. This track could easily fit onto Soul Asylum’s 1998 album Let Your Dim Light Shine.

Force of Habit is altogether different from the other songs on this disc. My favourite of the six, it’s got a great swing to it; very energetic and bouncy.  Keeping in tune with the rest of the album, it changes a bit throughout, but always returning to that initial catchy rhythm. The mix is dynamic and interesting, showcasing all elements of the song without making any one particular component stand out too much.

Always a crowd pleaser at their live shows, The Importance of the Bass Guitar is an interesting concept with a heavy blues influence.  The first half will throw you off a bit, but that’s intentional. The lack and then addition of the bass will help to teach those who “don’t know how to hear the bass” exactly what to listen for, and how strange music can sound without it (not counting The White Stripes).

Awake to a Dream will be releasing their debut CD Living The Immoral Life at The Coach and Horses on Saturday, December 31st along with Slyde, Dreams Destruction, Perpetuate, and All Against I.  Tickets are $4 in advance, $5 at the door, you must be 19 or over to attend, and doors open at 9 pm.



  1. […] the Immoral Life, which was available for the first time at this show (Check out the review for it here). In their set they played through the disc in it’s entirety, played a U2 cover that they made […]

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