Standout Track: “Deathdream,” a dark and heavy noise-pop song that struggles to wed distortion pedals and club rhythms. “It’s always the same, I try to forget/But you’re inside me again,” sings 29-year-old guitarist-vocalist Jake Reid over billowing keyboard atmospheres, courtesy of his wife, Kim. The lines convey his despair, but, as with any accomplished shoegaze recording, the layers of fuzz threaten to make the words inscrutable.
Musical Motivation: Jake, who works as a videographer for an Arlington PR firm, says he was inspired by Dead of Night (aka Deathdream) Bob Clark’s 1974 horror film about a slain U.S. soldier who returns home from Vietnam. “It deals with some of the anxieties and issues surrounding the Vietnam War, but he’s dead, you know, so it’s kind of a zombie flick,” he says. But the tune’s B-movie vibe isn’t solely intended to invoke dread. “It’s more that [these films] take you some place where things look normal but aren’t quite what they seem,” says Jake. “In the same way we try to create lots of textures and layers in our music, to make surreal atmospheres in our music.”
The Bell Czar: Like most of its shoegaze heroes, Screen Vinyl Image uses a host of esoteric guitar-pedal effects. Jake voices particular enthusiasm for the Death by Audio pedals made by A Place to Bury Strangers’ Oliver Ackermann, but he’s tech-savvy enough to build his own. “That’s kind of the root of where we developed some of the sounds we create,” he says. One of his favorites adds a clanging tone, “like some sort of electronic digital bell sound added to your regular guitar sound.”
Screen Vinyl Image plays Saturday, Oct. 18, at Velvet Lounge.