There are lots of albums where you listen to the opening track and are instantly taken back to a time and place. Such is the case with Soundpool’s second long player, which transported me to my Sixth Form years studying for exams whilst listening to shoegaze music. One of these acts was Lush who created very dense guitar music, layered with effects and fronted by girlie vocals. I’m guessing that Soundpool may have listened to Lush at some point; they’ve even named a song ‘Lush’ so the clues are there, you might say.
So unsurprisingly a few of of these songs return to the Lush sound to the level of pastiche. Thankfully most deviate from the formulaic and some even explore space rock. ‘Pleasure & Pain’ for instance uses a psychedelic swirl that recalls music from four decades ago rather than just two. Meanwhile the grinding undertow which propels ‘Do What You Love’ is redolent of the considerably more venerated My Bloody Valentine. ‘The Divides Of March’ is also made up of sturdy stuff thanks to its dominant bass and a driving tune.
Then come more suprises. ‘The Only One’ and ‘So Much For That’ are ambient, low-paced efforts that are mysterious and beguiling but the clincher is the stunning ‘Dream Sequence’; a three-part suite that is as beautiful as it is complex. At times ‘Dichotomies & Dreamland’ is a little superficial and too much in touch with the past to be considered a great record but for the times when this New York outfit experiment they prove they are an inventive and very special outfit.
Lush, Stereolab, Ulrich Schnauss