Ten years after breaking onto the scene, and straight out from a four year hiatus, Dreams Divide return with the EP Milk and Leather.
Jam the Transmission is the opening track, an intense dance beat that hits hard with its heavy bass, and sells an immediate sense of grandeur with everything layered on top of that. It’s within this beat of fast paced drums and uber stylised electronic flourishes that Jam the Transmission becomes a powerful song. There’s a lot of life and power within the first song alone, as pounding drums break out and the synth grows in intensity to a final crescendo.
Freedom is the track that broke the hiatus of Dreams Divide, and here it fits excellently alongside its contemporaries. There’s a neo-80’s style to Freedom, with a vapour wave mood to it’s tempo and 80’s inspired synth. The drums are this consistent beat that carry everything, but here they succeed in taking the leading instrument slot. With every moment that passes there’s something happening to keep the song interesting, without ever breaking the beat. It’s surprising how versatile Dreams Divide are when using various drum beats, ranging from familiar hits on a kit, to the more stylised drum machine of the modern day.
The title track, Milk and Leather, is a much more slow paced track when compared to its preceding tracks. But it carries something that’s surprisingly punk in some ways. The overall theming of the EP itself carries this a very punk aesthetic within its lyrics. The protest against the meat industry in the title track in particular is very in your face and straightforward. It’s a clear protest against an ethically questionable industry, one that challenges you to think and not just get up and dance to its infectious beat.
The song itself can be a little on the nose, in particular in its chorus as it describes what’s behind an animals face. But as far as musical delivery goes, there’s a beautiful rhythm and a range of sound jam packed with gentle noises that are in stark contrast to the darker lyrics.
The closing track, Hunter, is much more in line with Jam the Transmission. It’s a fast paced anthem that’s much easier to party to than Freedom and Milk and Leather. Despite them all being these futuristic dance songs with heaps of 80’s synth influence, they still carry a much deeper meaning than most of the hypnotic EDM out there. Hunter itself is probably the easiest to get lost in, with a chorus of reverberating vocal delivery repeated and masked over itself that is hard to describe without being heard first hand. It’s intense, powerful, and hypnotising. And at its close acts gives a nice breather for what is probably the most intense song on the EP. The close also bookends the EP excellently with it’s clear cut ending feeling.
Milk and Leather is a well executed EP that is surprising with how much it utilises it’s vocals. It’s much more akin to a typical band formation, with a story to tell, rather than a beat that you get lost in whilst dancing. But in that, it may win fans from other genres, in particular Punk with its very clear anti establishment theming. The fast paced beats, highly intricate synth moments, and strong vocals make for an EP packed tightly with little moments that you could spend days looking for.