Single Review: The Glass - Baddreams
Updated: Jan 10
Who are Baddreams?
Baddreams are a post-hardcore four piece outfit who take influence from early 2000s post-hardcore, combining their own modern elements to produce their own sound.
The band consists of Sam Hennerley (vocals) Harry Charlton (Drums) Finely Elwell-Jones (Bass) and Ishmael Roberts (Guitar).
They have played numerous shows in Birmingham and the Midlands, with their debut show supporting US hardcore band, 'Sharptooth' in April 2019. Since then, they have enjoyed playing alongside the likes of Skywalker, Behind Blue eyes and Cauldron whilst solidifying their place within both the Birmingham punk and hardcore scenes alike.
The band released their debut single 'Question Everything' in July 2019. 6 months later they are back with their second track, 'The Glass.' This single is a “heavier take for the band, with a tight structure, a breakdown in the midsection and raw punk style vocals.”
About “The Glass”
The band reveal that while their previous release ‘Question Everything’ focuses on dreams getting haunted, ‘The Glass’ emphasises the haunting pressures of reality.
The glass tells a real-life story from vocalist Sam and his struggles with anxiety:
'For me, the glass centres around mental collapses. When your whole head shuts down and you go into overdrive. You over analyse everything people have ever said to you and everything you've ever done. You're filled with self-loathing, all you want to do is scream. Its that's feeling when you feel so anxious your head starts to physically hurt. The "Glass" metaphor is about breaking out of those feelings and feeling free. I wanted the glass to be a representation of that.’
So, let us take a look…
I sat down with my snack to listen to this track because it’s a long one. At 5 minutes and 10 seconds long it’s a musical journey that takes you through several different alternative genres alongside their overall post-hardcore sound. I really enjoy the main riff of the song and the catchy chorus, something easy to get your teeth into despite the complexity of the song as a whole.
We begin with a fade-in and are immediately introduced to the riff that will take us through the rest of the song and the dreamy post-hardcore sound I expect from Baddreams (and love) alongside Sam’s distinctive, rough-around-the-edges vocals which add a unique and distinctive texture to their music. The guitars then change into a harsher post-hardcore vibe before changing once again and becoming more stripped back with a very different lead melody. Our main chords then come back to take us into the chorus.
At 2:20 the song then changes drastically. The bass and drums become completely stripped back with a prog-rock style guitar riff behind Sam’s vocals. It’s an odd time signature that’s jarring to the ear – in a good way. You’re not expecting that to be the next thing and it throws you off a bit, but you’re intrigued. It makes you avert your attention back to the song once again after getting comfortable with the post-hardcore sound that came before it. It then comes back to this post-hardcore sound, but it’s a rouse to make you think you know what’s going on before they lead you into the songs heavily hardcore influenced section (this is my favourite section but I’m definitely biased towards this). The song then uses Harry’s drums to nicely transition from this heavy sound back to their post-hardcore riffs again which continues until it brings an end to this melodic voyage.
In my opinion, I would’ve liked to see it end with more of a fade-out to bring it full circle and to complement the feeling that you have at the very beginning.
On the very first listen when I got the email sent over, I have to admit, I didn’t quite get it. The opposing genres all mashed together weren’t really vibing well with me and it didn’t make much sense until it dawned on me that this is the whole point. It’s meant to confuse you and challenge what you expect, even make you a little subconsciously uncomfortable at the changes that you’re not ready for. The section with the odd time signatures is meant to convey a feeling of anxiety and pressure that vocalist Sam admits to struggling within his own life. The hardcore elements convey the anger felt not only towards the world but also within yourself, but you can break free from this back to the norm, and back to the familiar dreamy post-hardcore sound from the band.
Once this clicked honestly, I was blown away. This song is a real, genuine message that makes you feel, and makes you think. It is a real rarity in music and such a talent to be able to make your listener empathise simply through sound and composition.
Overall, I love the single – especially after my epiphany. The complexity along with the opposing yet still complimentary feel it has to their last single “Question Everything” has me excited for more to music to come and hoping for an EP at some point this year.
You can catch Baddreams playing Birmingham's Sunflower Lounge alongside Y!kes, Free Galaxy and Bleach for ‘Discover Birmingham’, January 21st. (Find the event page here - https://bit.ly/2tAuKjx)
You can also find Baddreams on their social media:
And listen to their music here:
If you’re a small band, promotion company, record company or gig photographer (especially local to the Midlands) drop me an email -which you can find on my contact/pr page - or dm me on insta and we can chat about working together!