Album Review: Ball Park Music – Every Night The Same Dream (2016 LP)

Ball Park Music have wooed audiences across the nation with their genre-defying versatility and clever lyrics, cementing themselves as a stalwart of the Australian alternative music scene. Their fourth studio album, Every Night The Same Dream, following on from Puddinghead, demonstrates a mature, moodier direction and does not disappoint.

The shamelessly fun first track “Feelings”, is preceded by an ambient-noise intro, progressing to an emotionally honest song – surprising when you consider the amount of cowbell they’ve managed to sneak in (needs more cowbell?). The following tracks progress with rhythmic keys and guitars, a driving force behind their cynical lyrics – it’s smart, it’s damn good music; it’s the Ball Park Music that we all know and love.

The fourth track, “Pariah”, is a moody, seven-minute aural journey, where keyboardist Paul Furness gets a chance to take some of the lead. The entire mid section of this track was a live jam session, taken in one recording. It’s dripping in authenticity, highlights the talents of all of the members, and diverges from their norm. There’s something inherently intimate about hearing a jam, like the band is letting you into their creative processes; secretive nuances between the band and their instruments.

A brazenly nihilist song with optimistically soaring vocals and riffs has been missing from my life, and the fifth track fills the void. “Nihilist Party Anthem” is a smooth follow on from “Pariah” and has to be the self-wallowing-dance-around-the-living-room-pretending-I’m-Morrissey pick of the album.

This is an album that ought to be listened to on vinyl, and here it becomes evident – there’s a real feel that the record has been flipped, and you’re about to discover the treasures of the B side. The un-preppy track “Peppy” marks this second side, with its synth-soaked soundscape, and cruisy lyrics. You’ve got to hand it to these guys, they know how to write a song and be effortlessly cool. The slowed vibes continue across a few tracks, and tendril into the acoustic intro of “Don’t Look At Me Like That”, which then breaks into a real indie-rock sing-a-long of a track, and a fantastically unexpected synth-driven ending. The final tracks are crooning, ambling tracks with riffs that are bluesy and heartfelt.

Every Night The Same Dream isn’t a recurring nightmare, nor is it a dreamless sleep. It’s an unpredictable, heartfelt LP, where you’ll fall between progressive psych-rock jams, indie rock and pop ballads, succumbing to the reverie of what might just be Ball Park Music’s best album yet.

Review Score: 8.2 out of 10.

Every Night The Same Dream is out now.

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