Connecticut screamo enigmas Jeromes Dream reunite after 17 years for an expansive new album | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Connecticut screamo enigmas Jeromes Dream reunite after 17 years for an expansive new album 

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click to enlarge Jeromes Dream

Jeromes Dream

Scott J. Leahy

Of all the east-coast bands that helped sharpen screamo into a definitive style in the late 90s, Connecticut three-piece Jeromes Dream have the most compelling mystique—especially for fans who never saw the band before they called it quits in 2001. During their four years together, Jeromes Dream dropped five split EPs and two brief, fiery albums, all seven of which were repackaged on the two-CD set Completed: 1997-2001 (Alone Records) in 2005. Their rapid rhythmic bursts, caterwauling guitars, and throat-shredding shrieks, combined with anecdotes about their wild, blink-and-you’d-miss-it live shows—they rarely played for more than ten minutes, and bassist Jeff Smith often belted out the lyrics without a microphone—enshrined the band’s place in screamo lore. Recently Jeromes Dream broke more than 15 years of silence to invite fans into the process of their reunion: in 2018 they announced they’d be making a new album via an Indiegogo campaign, which eventually raised more than $20,000. On the resulting record, simply titled LP (Microspy), Jeromes Dream take a more expansive approach to their music, stretching out grindcore-style explosions into intelligible melodies that hint at postrock grandeur. Even Smith’s vocals have mellowed—he barks his verses through a megaphone, sure, but he’s clearly taking better care of his voice these days, and he seems to care much more that fans understand what he has to say. He rails against mechanized warfare and domestic violence, but because he provides disconnected details rather than a full picture, listeners have plenty of room to build their own narratives—and Jeromes Dream cultivate the kind of devoted fans who’ll definitely do it.   v

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