Peel Dream Magazine — Agitprop Alterna (3rd April 2020)USA FLAGPeel Dream Magazine — Agitprop Alterna (3rd April 2020) Peel Dream Magazine — Agitprop Alterna (3rd April 2020)•♠•  „Běda společnosti, která potřebuje hrdiny.“ —  Bertolt Brecht.
•♠•  Po úspěchu svého prvního alba dosáhli Peel Dream Magazine nových výšin s pozoruhodnou syntézou historických lo~fi zvuků a vysoce uměleckých konceptů. Inspirována citací Bertolta Brechta, že „Art není zrcadlem vydrženým realitou, ale kladivem, s nímž ho utváří,“ si skupina uvědomila, že poslech umění je sám o sobě uměleckým zážitkem. Propletené mužské a ženské vokály Stevense a Hyuna slouží jako kotva, zatímco jste ponecháni vznášet se v limbu mezi mizivými vysněnými stavy a zvukovou bezprostředností.
•♠•  „Veliké Kartágo vedlo tři války. Po té první bylo ještě mocné, po té druhé obyvatelné. Po té třetí válce je nikdo nenašel.“ —  Bertolt Brecht
•♠•  „Všichni se ženou za štěstím, a nikdy je nedostihnou, protože štěstí běží za nimi.“ —  Bertolt Brecht
Location: New York City, NY
Album release: 3rd April 2020
Record Label: Tough Love
Duration:     38:38
01. Pill   3:19 
02. Emotional Devotion Creator   3:19 
03. It’s My Body   2:31 
04. Escalator Ism   2:58 
05. Brief Inner Mission   1:59 
06. NYC Illuminati   3:04 
07. Wood Paneling Pt 2   1:20
08. Too Dumb   3:01
09. The Bertolt Brecht Society   2:12
10. Permanent Moral Crisis   2:59
11. Do It   2:16 
12. Eyeballs   4:26
13. Up and Up   5:14
•♠•  Peel Dream Magazine is the musical vehicle for NYC’s Joe Stevens, who launched the band in 2018 with the critically acclaimed album “Modern Meta Physic.” With it Stevens created a mysterious, liminal tribute to the hazy end of ‘90s dream~pop — a masterful mix of first~class songwriting precision and train~window sonic impressionism that duly found its place on numerous “Best of 2018” lists.
•♠•  After 18 months of writing and live shows with a shifting cast of band members, Peel Dream are back with “Agitprop Alterna,” an album that pushes the group’s dreamy, motorik sound to a deeply melodic and beautifully discordant place. This sophomore LP pays homage to the fuzzy, mod~ish pop of acts like My Bloody Valentine and early Stereolab, but it’s also indebted to stateside bands like Yo La Tengo and Rocketship that were cut from a similar cloth. It’s part Chickfactor, part Space Age Bachelor Pad; a shambolic, drone~heavy brand of minimalism, filtered through a cross~section of classic indie pop.
•♠•  Where the creation of “Modern Meta Physic” was a solitary pursuit, “Agitprop Alterna” found Stevens channeling the collaborative spirit of the band’s ever~rotating live incarnation in the studio. The album is ultimately defined by the tension of difference: between itself and its predecessor; intertwined male~female vocals; the music’s languid dreaminess and concrete sonic immediacy.
•♠•  Deeply rooted in the Brechtian ideas of art as a tool to spur action, “Agitprop Alterna” intensifies the connection between the existential and the interpretive first explored on “Modern Meta Physic,” giving the listener space to find their own meaning in shimmering guitars, fuzzed~out synths, and humming organ drones. It is a rejection of manipulation in all its forms and a buzzsaw against complacency — soft~focus pop whose clear~cut message is that you get to decide the message. It’s a rare trick to agitate without being obvious: perhaps that makes “Agitprop Alterna” the most Peel Dream Magazine~like statement yet.
By Kaelen Bell ⌊ Published Apr 01, 2020 ⌋ Score: 8
•♠• Shoegaze is good music to lose yourself in; it’s simultaneously soothing and obliterating, music to make yourself feel both small and significant. It’s good music for the times we’re in, and Peel Dream Magazine have provided an excellent escape route with their fuzzed~out sophomore record, Agitprop Alterna.
•♠•  The sugar~coated swirl of opener “Pill” is a sonic wormhole to the golden age of shoegaze, the most pitch~perfect recapturing of the sound — and distinctly melancholic delirium — of the genre’s heyday in recent memory. It’s the tiniest bit of a red herring – though the fuzz, gliding guitars and androgynous, cooing vocals remain constants across the record, Peel Dream Magazine are interested in more than just a pastiche of late '80s and early ‘90s shoegaze. Rather than adopting only the volume and layers, as so many young shoegaze bands do, Peel Dream Magazine are also, crucially, committed to mood and atmosphere.
•♠•  Palette cleansing tracks like “Brief Inner Mission” and the radio dispatch “Wood Paneling Pt. 2” function much like My Bloody Valentine’s “Touched” or “Is This and Yes” — breaks from the noise that provide calm and necessary dimension. Those classic shoegaze records weren't boundary~pushing simply because they sounded new — they crafted entire worlds, somehow both impenetrable and spacious.
•♠•  Still, this isn’t a Loveless rehash – it’s a more shambolic record, less foreign in its textures and smaller in sonic scope. Agitprop Alterna feels made by human beings, its songs less dense than they might appear on first blush. The meditative calm of “The Bertolt Brecht Society,” the forward momentum of “Escalator Ism,” the jangling shimmer of closer “Up and Up” — it’s an album of many shades, its peculiar insularities the mark of a band counting time by their own off~kilter clock.
•♠•  It’s a tighter and more motorik album than 2018’s Modern Meta Physic, and the band sound as though they’ve locked more fully into the shape they’re meant to take — hooky, harmonic rock that seems to glow softly from within all the noise. It’s an enveloping, oddly comforting soundtrack to troubled times. (Slumberland)