Yume Bitsu means "dream beats" in Japanese. The band is from
Oregon, not Japan, and as far as i can tell they are not ethnically
Japanese. Still, it's a cool name and an adequate description
of the long droning music the band makes.
This is an interesting album. All of the tracks are really
nicely done. Let's take a look at the songs, and how they flow
Things start off most auspiciously with 5 minutes of chiming
guitar in the song The Wedding Procession. A voice floats
in, and then drums lightly start playing. The song lilts and
floats on a sea of delayed guitars and then, suddenly, it just
EXPLODES. Noise. Loud distorted guitars. Lotsa cymbals and drums.
The song gets louder and louder and yet somehow, the melody
persists underneath the sheer weight of instrumentation. When
it ends, i am left exhausted at the sheer energy of the song,
and yet oddly refreshed at the same time.
After The Wedding Procession fades out, i hear the sound
of rain coming from the CD. A rushing cymbal rolls by, and then
guitars chime through. This song drones on with guitars, sparse
drumming, and beating on woodblocks, which gives it a vaguely
Japanese feel. It is a nice ambient relaxing song.
And then suddenly the guitars become a wall of fuzz and a voice
sings "Sharp, Twisted. Disguised by pain..." I am shocked out
of the ambient drone-induced reverie. I look around, confused,
where did this indie pop song come from? Oh well, rolling with
it, it takes me on a rollercoaster ride of buzzing guitars and
The fuzzy pop of Sharp, Twisted fades out as suddenly
as it started, and i am back in the ambient drone world, this
time drifting through a song called Mothmen Meet The Council
Of Frogs, which sounds like a b-grade sci-fi film. This
is a long, ponderous song of constant drone. In the background
are eerie little sounds -- descending chords and wierd vocal
bits. It leaves me vaguely uneasy. This is the weakest song
on the album, but it is not bad by any sense. It is just not
as good as its disc-mates.
This drone fades into the next drone, called Into The Hole.
Guitars chime over a wall of fuzz. Vocals weave in and out.
Eventually it builds to a distorted noise frenzy. Not as fast
and furious as the one that ended The Wedding Procession,
So those are the songs, and the order that they are in. It's
not the order i would have chosen, given these tunes to work
with. I find a few weaknesses in the track listing. And the
track listing is important to me.
You see, one of my hobbies is making Mix Tapes. I spend a lot
of time sitting in front of my stereo, listening and taping,
compiling songs for friends, enemies, and the occasional stranger.
When i do this i place a lot of emphasis on the song order --
i want a mix to flow appropriately. Track order is very
important in conveying mood. I can only assume that musicians
do the same when tracking their albums.
In which case, i don't really get the mood of this album. Oh,
sure, each of the songs on it is brilliantly done, and they
flow together okay, but i cannot determine an overall mood that
is being conveyed. The album flows from explosive exhaustion
to relaxation to rock to drone to loud drone. That takes me
nowhere. I am left feeling as if the album ended suddenly. I
want more. What i usually do is go back and listen to The
Wedding Procession again. It gives me the closure i desire.
And that's my complaint about this album -- it doesn't give
me catharsis. In Lit class in college i learned that catharsis
comes at the end (of a play, which is the only place Lit Professors
think emotional purging can occur) so that you get a sense of
completion. Of ending. I think that's why such albums as Cocteau
Twins' Heaven Or Las Vegas and Sonic Youth's Washing
Machine end with such explosions of sound (Frou-Frou
Foxes In Midsummer Fire and The Diamond Sea respectively).
In all fairness i think that Yume Bitsu were trying to do the
same thing here, it is just that they chose the weaker of the
two songs to do it with. I would have ended with The Wedding
Procession rather than Into The Hole. It does the
But you know, that's a relatively minor complaint. On the whole
this is a strong album. Fans of guitar mastery will enjoy it