It is all about the music for Cleveland rockers Pipe Dream. Members Jack Ellis, Spencer Hendricks, Ross Newbauer, and Sam Welch use their collective talents to present a sound that changes with each song, because they change positions and instruments on each song.
Diversity pays off. The stage show is mesmerizing as the artists move in a well-rehearsed ballet between songs, switching easily from one position to the next. There is no main drummer, because they are all proficient at drums. The same is true for keyboards/piano and guitar. This leads the listener on a journey through music that highlights the varied influences and talents of each member. The Circles EP flows from one song to another, as compelling and diverse as a Mozart symphony with a folk rock beat.
Individual talent blends into cohesive and well-thought out music. Although the members of the band admit they are perfectionists at times, they all know when the song is just right. Ellis explains, “Sometimes you have to accept that it won’t be perfect. We could keep going on a song forever. At some point you have to stop and make it as best as you possibly can.” The band concentrates on stage presence and how to make their stage show better, a challenging feat for musicians that play in varied positions throughout the program. Pipe Dream applies that same dogged determination to every aspect of their songs. Hendricks says, “What we try to get really good at is evoking the most emotion out of our listeners.” The songs of Pipe Dream are specifically written and set to music that truly tugs at the heartstrings.
Pipe dream is a music co-op. Interpersonal dynamics are synched with the progression of the composition and focused on making the best tracks possible. Their song “Boston” was a finalist in the 2014 International Songwriting Competition. The lyrics, “The one thing I want/I can’t feel anymore/I guess I’ll just go it alone” describe the trials and tribulations of finding yourself. The melodies complement poignant lyrics to build a story that appeals to all ages.
Pipe Dream is a collaboration of multi-talented artists that will forge the future of the band. Lyrics from the title track from The Oak EP say, “Climb the oak/Way up high/Sayin’ someday we would fly” could be a mission statement for this band. I was struck by the fact that there is no spokesman for Pipe Dream, because they are all spokesmen. Any decision to be made, whether it be a new melody or a record label contract, is made through a consensus of the band members. Together they carefully weigh pros and cons, often turning to experts or research to learn what they do not know. Ellis, Hendricks, Newbauer and Welch have successfully combined their individual talents into a group vision for Pipe Dream that promises more exhilarating music to come.
Their third EP, The Oak, is available this month and will be accompanied by their second music video. Currently unsigned, Pipe Dream will continue to play local and regional shows as they write and record new music.