Review: "Caffeine Queen" Album by Them Fantasies

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Them Fantasies are never out of time and place on the dreamy haze of their debut album “Caffeine Queen”. With the greatest level of grace, they handle genre-hopping deftly. At times tapping into the moody late 80s/early 90s indie rock sound they go for an expansive roster of influences. From the contemporary laid-back rhythms of Mac DeMarco’s shaggy-dog lyricism to the heightened tension of Sonic Youth’s “Daydream Nation”, the whole of the album is wrapped in so many layers of sound. Instrumentally vibrant, they mix together grunge, indie pop, and elements of funk sometimes within a single track. By avoiding easy categorization, they craft something that is uniquely theirs.

Despite being a trio, Them Fantasies have a far more expansive quality to them. The way Dominic Cannarella’s vocals lead the way adds to the poetic beauty of the album. Every track feels akin to a chapter in a greater story. Shifting between various energy levels and focuses, the whole of the album has a kaleidoscopic quality to it. Incredible riffs alongside a real ear for melody allows these to unspool at their own time. Never rushing things, Them Fantasies makes sure to create a lush, joyous realm.

After the mysterious opener of “Story Time (Intro)” they start things up in earnest with the smooth jazz-tinged “Bastard Too”. Over the course of “Bastard Too”, they touch upon the Sea and Cake’s casual cool style. Spacious arrangements roll through the surrealism of “Acid Anna”. Taut funk reigns supreme over the playful demeanor of the aptly named “Hook-Up Culture”. Nimble, delicate textures come into the fray on the tenderness of “Nothing But the Screen”. Urgently delivered “Them Fantasies” goes for an unbridled freewheeling demeanor as the track races against time, serving as a pure burst of adrenaline. This approach continues on the equally rollicking work of “Melatonin” where the bass gets a wonderful workout. A gargantuan stateliness runs through “Plastic Heart”. Effortlessly bringing everything together in a gorgeous way is the fantastic closer of “Together (Eyes Closed)”.

The “Caffeine Queen” album shows off Them Fantasies’ uncanny ability to delve into a world of their own design, fully immersive and completely teeming with life.

Stream and Share “Caffeine Queen” on Spotify