East Coast Dreamers – Breaking Hearts To Break Barriers (CD)

East Coast Dreamers – Breaking Hearts To Break Barriers / 2005 Self / 10 Tracks / http://www.eastcoastdreamers.net / http://www.myspace.com/eastcostdreamers / Reviewed 23 August 2005

The East Coast Dreamers start off their “Breaking Hearts To Break Barriers” with a track that skillfully unites pop-punk with what is currently called “emo”, while staying away from the pitfalls present with both genres. The same vocal tone is achieved during the disc’s first few tracks, something that may unite tracks but really lulls the band into a possible disc-killing complacency. The Dreamers smartly change up the disc’s overall sound with the much-more organic “Lion’s Heart”, a track that feels almost as if it draws inspiration from the looking-back American folk of Devendra Banhart even as hints of Blink 182 and Midtown come through. After the slow start, the East Coast Dreamers really begin to shine.

The quicker tempo of “Long Island Sound”, coupled with the skillful use of dramatic tension locks any listeners in for the long haul. The emotional sincerity that the Dreamers bring forth to their tracks, specifically in the three-part harmonies that end “Long Island Sound”, provide a listener with overload enough to even elicit tears. Simply put, a band that is that capable of molding listeners’ hearts like putty is rare to find in these dark days of music, and to find a band with that skill that has only been around for seven months is virtually impossible.

After the beginning stutter-step, the band really takes listeners through an entire host of differing songs and styles that are always well-thought out and interesting. “Transparent Personality” is the only track that is lacking in terms of professionalism; the vocals present on the track are weak; while this might be a calculated move to show the humanity present in the band, what comes out is a small, tinny voice that lets down the rich instrumentation that is backing it up. “Breaking Hearts To Break Barriers” is a tremendously impressive first effort from a band that does not even have a year under their belt, and while tracks like “Lock The Door, I’m A Killer” have minor flaws that diminish the enjoyment one can take, the band still is farther musically, in arrangements, and in overall sound than any comparable act. “Breaking Hearts To Break Barriers” is an album that is full of hits, and will appeal to the broadest segment of society, whether it be the doe-eyed emo fans that are a dime a dozen in the high schools of America or the wizened veterans of the scene, jaded but still able to appreciate raw talent.

Top Tracks: Follow Through, Long Island Sound

Rating: 6.3/10

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