Business Of Dreams – Ripe For Anarchy

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Slumberland Records
Released: 2019
Buy Album: https://www.slumberlandrecords.com/catalog/show/327
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/businessofdreams/

BAND LINE-UP:

Corey Cunningham – Everything

TRACKLISTING:

1. Chasing That Feeling
2. My Old Town
3. Ripe For Anarchy
4. N.R.E.A.M.
5. Don’t Let Our Time Expire
6. I Never Could Tell You
7. The Hatchet Song
8. Naive Scenes
9. La La La La
10. I Feel Dread
11. Keep The Blues Away

REVIEW:

It’s a strange old term “indie”, isn’t it? You all know the full meaning behind it, but what exactly does it take to be independent? Certainly in places, the genre carries an air of “we’ll do whatever we fancy; your categories be damned”, and that’s something of a blessing. You don’t tend to get the slobbering, knuckle-dragging hunched beasts from the rock or metal world screaming that it’s not this or that because of X and Y. Rather, it revels in its own culture; enjoys being its own boss and calling all the shots. So it stands to reason that BUSINESS OF DREAMS’ sophomore continues furrowing its own path of indie intrigue.

To make a broad, sweeping statement regarding “Ripe For Anarchy”, it is singularly depressing and dreary, yet upbeat and summery. The first half of that critical genius may sound unnecessarily harsh, but bear with for the moment. Lyrically, the album speaks volumes upon volumes of negativity – hell, the song “N.R.E.A.M.” is short for “Negativity Rules Everything Around Me”. Cheery, no? “Why can’t today be yesterday?” is the sort of wistful line trotted out in that bastion of joy, whilst the noting that it is “time to say goodnight to those lonesome ghosts forever” in the album’s title track does anything but uplift. It’s somewhat appropriate then that BUSINESS OF DREAMS (Corey Cunningham) is likened in parts to classic misery merchants THE SMITHS.

Yet for all that, and with the exception of the achingly mournful “Don’t Let Our Time Expire”, the rest of the album just skips along with such sonic cheer. “I Never Could Tell You” ethereally wills itself along on a bank of hazy, swirling keys, whilst the catchy-as-all-hell (and deeply-titled) “La La La La” shimmers with acoustic guitar strums and summery vibes. Note that last part there – summery vibes. “Ripe For Anarchy” could feasibly work as background choons for a summer party, or the sunset-draped wind-down at the end (where everyone’s tired, full of food and a little bit pissed). The lyrics may deal with the bad times, but musically it’s all about the good times.

In between all of this is Cunningham’s so-laid-back-he’s-horizontal vocals. It is either testament to the man as a vocalist, or his character, but his voice just sounds so lackadaisical. Despite the heavy matters of loss, regret, existence and perseverance, he sounds like he doesn’t have a care in the world – it’s quite the contrast, really. Even on closer “Keep The Blues Away”, where he sings “grief is a constant friend/I close my eyes and embrace the end”, he still sounds as if he’s supping a beer in a sun-drenched beer garden amongst friends.

BUSINESS OF DREAM’s sophomore is a continuation of where the debut left off – catchy-yet-bleak 80s-inspired songs that sound a little caught somewhere in time. “Ripe For Anarchy” cannot be accused of being staid in its approach, since it’s mix of light and shade gives an oddly pleasant tone to proceedings. It might not appeal to everyone, with the carefree vocals and heartache-y lyrics feeling thoroughly depressing at times, but without being a critical arse, it’s a pretty sweet listen.

They say that music is often used to exorcise pain, and it’s clear that Cunningham has used some to construct this and move on with his life. If you’ve a hankering for ethereal indie pop that will leave you feeling simultaneously cheery and morose, then “Ripe For Anarchy” will serve up a treat.

VIDEO:

REVIEW BY

LEE CARTER

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