November 2nd, 2010 9:40am

Heaven Is Just A Zipcode

Mr. Dream “Learn the Language”

I put off listening to Mr. Dream for a while because two members of the band are colleagues of mine. I try to avoid music made by people I know for reasons you can probably understand if you give it a bit of thought. I’m glad I set that aside and gave it a shot because as it turns out, they are making exactly the kind of brainy yet very physical rock music that is always desirable but generally scarce, especially in the past decade. “Learn the Language” is a lumbering giant of a song, loud and violent and difficult to ignore. There’s not a lot of subtlety to it in terms of form and function, but there’s a hidden grace in the band’s performance that makes it ruthlessly effective rather than blunt and dumb. They lock in together with great intensity, but keep things loose enough that even the expected moves seem slightly unpredictable, and you kinda flinch with each dynamic shift. Adam Moerder’s vocal performance is fantastic all on its own — an unaffected deadpan at some points, a self-aware laugh breaking through one line, and a unrestrained holler at the climax. Every bit of this song is very well-thought out, but it’s played on instinct, which is always an ideal balance in loud rock music.

Visit the Mr. Dream MySpace page.

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