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DREAM STATE – 'Primrose Path' Album Review


1. Made Up Smile 2. Are You Ready To Live? 3. Hand In Hand 4. Open Windows 5. Twenty Letters 6. Spitting Lies 7. Out Of The Blue 8. Chapters 9. Primrose 10. I Feel It Too

There has to be something in the water in Wales that turns the citizens into phenomenal musicians, as we’ve seen many notable acts arise from the often-overlooked country. It’s certainly no different for Kerrang Awards’ Best Newcomer of 2018 Post-Hardcore outfit Dream State. After cutting their teeth with two phenomenal EPs (2015’s 'Consequences' and 2018’s 'Recovery') and several high profile tours supporting the likes of Neck Deep, The Amity Affliction and BABYMETAL, the band’s long-awaited debut “Primrose Path” is finally upon us, and let me tell you, it certainly does not disappoint.

There are many that class genres such as Post-Hardcore as a genre that is devoid of emotion, but 'Primrose Path' is unquestionably with emotion. The lyrics throughout are visceral and authentic, coming as a result of the darkness of frontwoman CJ Gilpin’s battles with addiction and anxiety, which results in a deeply personal yet accessible album that doesn’t alienate. This is best described through Gilpin’s explanation of the album’s title; as “an idiom meaning: someone who’s in the pursuit of pleasure, even though they know it’s gonna bring disastrous results. We’ve all been there once in our lives.”

The album starts extremely strong with the tracks ‘Made Up Smile’ and ‘Are You Ready To Live’, which set the tone for the album, lyrically and instrumentally, in perfect fashion. Both are extremely reminiscent of Linkin Park’s famed debut album ‘Hybrid Theory’, which has been cited by the band as one of the main inspirations for this album. For me, ‘Made Up Smile’ is the perfect song to open an album with. It portrays a unique energy through its peaks and dips, which echoes throughout the entire record. There are many points where Gilpin takes the time to stop and speak, providing more vulnerable moments that are then contrasted with powerful screams that you can’t help but fall in love with.

The sheer brilliance of CJ Gilpin’s vocals shines further in single ‘Open Windows’, which also demonstrates the absolute talent of the band on the whole, Aled Rhys Evans on guitar, Rhys Wilcox providing guitar and backing vocals and Jamie Lee’s drums. Each member brings something unique to each track and proves exactly why DREAM STATE have shot to such meteoric heights in such a short time span.

Every track included on this album is a standout. They all bring something different to the table to form a phenomenal, near-flawless album. I don’t want to be seen as someone who thinks everything is amazing, but ‘Primrose Path’ is genuinely not just one of the best debut full length albums in recent memory, but perhaps one of the best albums released full stop. I honestly can’t praise this band enough. Despite it only being their debut album, they exude an air of experience. Be sure to watch out for DREAM STATE, as they are well on their way to becoming the next worldwide phenomenon.

Review - Gordon Rae

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