(cassingle, Iron Lung Records)
DREAMDECAY has operated out of Seattle for the past half-decade, but in many ways the group is bound to Portland's all-ages scene. They regularly played at Laughing Horse Books until it closed in 2014, and were as essential to that community as erstwhile local favorites Cower and Grandfather. With the recent enlistment of two Portlanders, those ties have only strengthened—John Gee of Kidcrash and Carrion Spring has assumed second-guitar duties, while Jon Scheid of U Sco (and formerly of flagship emo band Duck. Little Brother, Duck!) has joined the group on synthesizers.
Dreamdecay's new release, F.R.A.N.K., will be available physically on a limited run of cassettes. It's a preview of a LP that'll be released on esteemed punk label Iron Lung Records later this year, and it neatly highlights both sides of the group's new identity. Their 2013 LP, N V N V N V, was an exercise in punk sadism—its songs built up insidiously before cascading into caustic noise, the musical equivalent of The Exorcist. By comparison, F.R.A.N.K. experiments with slimmer, more conventional songcraft: Its title track evokes seminal psych and krautrock as much as weirdo hardcore, and the synth-centric B-side "Headache 1" is even decidedly pretty, a first for the group. F.R.A.N.K. is the sound of one of the Pacific Northwest's best and most aberrant punk bands maturing—and, unusually for a punk band, that's far from a bad thing.
Dreamdecay plays at Black Water Bar (835 NE Broadway) on Sunday, March 27, with Private Room and Panzer Beat.