[Review] Dreamcatcher set a unique course with “Scream” with familiar quality results

Dreamcatcher have just released their first album, ‘Dystopia’, along with the title track from it, “Scream”. Interestingly, to mark the occasion, Dreamcatcher have strayed from their usual rock-inspired sound to drift towards something commonly found on their standout b-sides in EDM.

I generally always have some concerns based on the teasers, and “Scream” was no exception, as one of the teasers seemed to feature a rather bare bones instrumental-themed chorus, and it seemed poised to move Dreamcatcher towards generic territory. Yes, no K-pop groups are really doing anything truly musically unique, but Dreamcatcher definitely had their own unique niche within K-pop itself, which was something you could always count on.

The concern was partially realized as the chorus did indeed primarily revolve around the instrumental. Fortunately, it did at least have distortions, choir chants, and other elements that helped it come off more haunting and menacing, which fits better with their concept. The obvious parallel in terms of structure is “Sleepwalking”, which I absolutely loved and also revolved primarily around an instrumental, and the energy and intensity on “Scream” created a similar quality though not quite as alluring.

Primarily I’m glad that they didn’t drift down generic girl crush territory and kept in their lane even as they pushed the boundaries of it a bit. The verses are among the best they’ve had and arguably make the song, featuring dramatic strings, aggressive rock guitar stabs, and centering a lot on upbeat vocals this time around. Perhaps most importantly they are arranged nicely so that the impact is distributed and there really feels like they have a sense of balance to it rather than hiding members like other groups/songs tend to do.

The drop out and build of both the pre-chorus and the bridge are Dreamcatcher staples for a reason as they effectively build tension and then the instrumental brings the release. The bridge in this instance is especially effective as it’s a timely break needed from the repetition of the chorus backing.

The reason for my consistent like of Dreamcatcher’s music, aside from their rock slant, is that generally it’s melodic and upbeat, both things that set a song down a successful path for my preferences and “Scream” isn’t any different and it thus represents another success. That said, while it definitely keeps the darker and haunting themes, the song itself does pander more towards mainstream acceptance and it’ll be interesting to see if that does end up working.

For now the replay value holds up, though I’m curious as to whether it goes more in the direction of “Sleepwalking” or “What” for me in terms of potentially polarizing choruses. Regardless of where it eventually falls on the rather extreme curve of Dreamcatcher title tracks, it’s definitely a venture with enough quality to be a valuable member of any discography.

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TheBiasList had high praise for it, saying it was thrilling and ambitious.

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