If there’s one challenge to being addicted to discovering new music while broadening your musical pallet, it is this: how do you keep up with all the genres you grew up loving and still love? For me, hardcore is one of those genres I have kind of lost touch with throughout the years. But every now and then, a release grabs my attention that gets me so excited I wonder why I don’t spend more time in this corner of the musical landscape. Exhibit A: Turnstile’s Glow On, which was my AOTY last year. Exhibit B: The new Praise album All in A Dream.
Then again, even though hardcore may be the point of origin for both Turnstile and Praise, both bands have so much more to offer. In the case of Praise, the most notable influences comes from the ’80s DC hardcore scene, and when I first heard Praise’s 2014 record Lights Went Out, it felt like hearing Dag Nasty for the very first time. It had that same level of excitement for me. That comparison still holds 8 years later, especially on the title track – I should probably also mention Rites of Spring and Embrace, or more recently As Friends Rust; the record also includes a great cover of Hüsker Dü’s Keep Hanging On. But Praise have firmly built their own sound throughout the years, and central to that sound is their willingness and fearlessness to branch out to more melody and different styles. It’s probably no coincidence that Daniel Fang drums in both Turnstile and Praise, and in Angel Du$t as well: three bands that do not sound alike at all, but have an equal level of exploration and creativity.
Ultimately, All in A Dream is bouncy, dynamic and colorful. It’s a record to get excited over, to rock out with, to sing and scream along to. It’s the kind of record that makes you feel happy you’re alive and can’t wait to share with your friends.
All in A Dream is out now on the legendary Revelation Records. For more on the record, read this insightful interview with Praise singer Andy Norton (formerly of Champion) at Stereogum.