Promises is the glaring standout. Full of commanding thuds, heart wounds, disappointment and strained larynxes. Emotional things win us over. Always. Remember Ghoul's first EP? Before they got all insecure about "crooning". Fuck. They were onto something great. Alongside that immediate recall, there's that associated familiarity, sounding just enough like the hits that blast from my car stereo, unmoved for the past few decades from it's frequency fixated position on that Classic FM station. A few more listens and it begins to mould into a feeling of personal superiority. You laughed when I spoke about the steadfast determination of yesteryear, that crisp taste of 1973 onwards. Now every man, woman and Blue Mountains future-folk-or-whatever-genre-this-is band is all over it.
Actually, the genre is clear. "Indie". And all the transparency and emptiness your brain now associates with that word. It's a genre that, obviously, dramatically adapts over time, but at the minute seems to be obsessed with a sense of drama, air-tight yesteryear pop and a quest for freedom and escape, immediately associated with a some sort of simplified television existence. But rarely any form of human connection. And for every genuinely emotive moment like Promises, there's a song like Moon Rabbit — which is basically just the soundtrack for a Dulux commercial.
Dream Cave reeks of ambition over passion, an exercise of showcasing compositional ability rather than utilising the medium as a form of creative release. Thus, my instinctual reaction is to simply dismiss this as just another band attempting to finance their passion and monetize their hard work with some of those lucrative sync deals. Nothing wrong with that at all, especially given that it's now the accepted, mutated business model of the music industry. But songs like Promises — and to a similar extent the closing pair of tracks, Tombstone and Dream Cave — hint that Cloud Control are better than that, capable of balancing the correct weights of pop and passion. Unfortunately, however, for the most part, we simply get demonstrations of the band's capabilities of playing their instruments in an acceptable manner. And that just isn't, and never will be, enough.