Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Review: The Open Eyed Dreamer – 'Free Your Own Mind'

The new solo project from Ghost In The Static front-man and named after the band's two part 'The Open Eyed Dreamer' album and EP, Steve Fearon sets out on his own with a far more electronic path than previous. A teaser of this direction was dropped in February with a rather brilliant cover of Marilyn Manson's 'Dried Up, Tied, And Dead To The World' and the EP expands nicely upon this.

The opening track 'Press Enter to Continue' has a dark martial element to it which is a great introduction before dropping into a blend of eclectic electronics that blend elements of ohGr and modern Skinny Puppy with Infected Mushroom. There is a nice balance between hard dance appeal and playful experimentation on tracks such as 'Simple People' and 'The Last Revolution'. While the likes of 'Waiting' (which also features Mixe1 and Gary Walker) and 'The Final Photograph' show just how far the music can be pushed.

For an EP this is a nice and complete statement of intent. The songwriting is strong, confident and not afraid to play with the listener's expectations. Lyrically Fearon is at his most expressive. The songs play with influences from ebm, synthpop, industrial, rock and techno and blends them into something that feels fresh and modern.

The production reflects this as well with the tracks having the kind of sheen to them that you'd expect from any aqct packing dance floors these days. But there is also a little grit in there, something a little punky and less user-friendly that hints at the unexpected lurking just below the surface.

This is a strong first step for this project. It has a lot to offer and shows a lot of promise in the directions it could possibly move. Hopefully Fearon will follow this up with a longer release in the near future.  

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