20 years after their breakup, Jeromes Dream remain one of the most influential screamo bands of all time. Just a month before their 2001 breakup, the Connecticut band released second LP Presents and showcased a new style. More akin to noise rock and incorporating elements of hardcore and math rock, the ideas on the album were left unexplored until Jeromes Dream followed it up 18 years later with reunion album LP.
“This record was an opportunity for us to explore uncharted musical territory and ignore any preconceived notions of what we should sound like,” reflects drummer Erik Ratensperger. “At the time of writing and recording Presents, we were in a strange headspace and felt socially isolated, but creatively liberated. There’s an air of cynicism in the music, and in the lyrics, but we felt like we had cracked the code. Looking back, it’s a shame that we parted ways only months later.”
To commemorate the album’s 20th anniversary, engineer Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Loma Prieta) remastered the album for reissue in September. The band also has a new music video for the song “This is for Baby Fat,” which features live footage of the band’s 2019 appearance at 924 Gilman Street.
“I can remember what it was like to be a kid trying to find a foothold in a world that was so soul-crushingly hostile that Erik, Nick, and I had no choice but to turn inward and create what we did the way we did,” adds bassist/vocalist Jeff Smith. “Presents captures the darkness we, as a band, collectively felt at the time it was released. A lot of what we were feeling at the time has continued to be relevant to me. Listening back to the record, I feel the fury, disillusionment and situational hopelessness we three discussed regularly as clearly as I did back in 2001. But I also felt the focus and clarity that we finally learned to channel when we played together toward the end of our first run as a band. While the music on the record is brimming with cynicism and angst, there is also a vulnerability that was always present in our music. Nowhere better does this vulnerability come through for me than 35. Hopefully, you can find your own connection with the record and its songs the way I do.”
Presents is set for reissue on September 24 via Iodine Recordings, but listen to the remastered version of “This is for Baby Fat” and watch the video below.