The Wrangler

Skin Dream – “Chains And Lace” EP

By Vince Little, Staff Writer

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Skin Dream is a Houston band who just recently released their first EP Chains And Lace on October 28th. Skin Dream’s sound consists of mainly gothic, dreamy (and almost ambient) elements, and there are obvious post-punk influences as well. The music on Chains And Lace is bipolar, and with this being Skin Dream’s only release so far, the genre the band would fit in is obscured.

Tracklisting:

  1. Chains And Lace
  2. Disguise
  3. Purity Drain
  4. Butterfly

The EP starts off with the title track, as a dark, metallic bassline intro forms a rigid skeleton for the song. A smooth guitar melody and an extra bassline paint the verses, with Lane’s harmonic vocals almost automatically introduced. The chorus develops into a watery bassline with subtle guitar chords, both of which keep their sharpness. Lane recites abstract lyrics throughout, and in the chorus:

“Let’s get you out of all the chains and lace,

I don’t know me as I take a step inside”

As the title track fades out, the soft synth chords of “Disguise” calm you. Lane croons hopeful lyrics throughout the percussion-less verses, until the choruses shyly release another synth that floats in the instrumental’s space. There’s also a flute that comes in towards the end of the song that has the ability to make you feel like you’re levitating.

After “Disguise” ends, “Purity Drain” quickly bursts in, a song that is the polar opposite of the former. With a very melodic bassline consistently pulsing underneath simple drums and Lane’s deep, doom-ridden vocals, a strong, melancholic atmosphere is formed. For two minutes the song is anti-climatic, until high pitched, wailing guitars are suddenly introduced in distorted waves. Once the song quiets down for a moment, it then again explodes into an even bigger wall of guitar screams, with Lane repeating the phrase “I’m pure” over them.

“Purity Drain” fades out into silence for a few seconds.

The next song, “Butterfly”, begins with simple, clean acoustic chords. In the background there are ambient echoes of guitar notes and noises that sound alive in a way. They start to build and crawl upon each other until powerful vocals from Lane come in, drenched in reverb. For almost four minutes the atmosphere of the song stays consistent, but the ambiance in the background shifts as noises abruptly fade in an out, still echoing. New guitar swells come in and start building up until the climax of the song is reached, where more and more guitars build a giant ocean of distortion, huge and melodic. The climax only lasts for a little while before it dies down, and after all the noise subsides, there are still guitar echoes and vocals in the far distance. The song then goes silent.

Vocals: Vincent Lane

Guitar: Vincent Lane

Bass: Vincent Lane

Synths: Vincent Lane

Drums: Vincent Lane

Chains And Lace is a short roller-coaster of styles and emotions. All of the songs are melodic and lush, all in their own way. The mixing at times gets muddy, and with no producer credit found for this EP, that makes sense. The lyrical content on Chains And Lace is versatile and at times very simple, but effective. You can find all of the lyrics to the EP on the Skin Dream Bandcamp page.

Bandcamp link: https://skindream.bandcamp.com/

Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/skindream

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