Every member of The Dreebs has, at some point, been a member of PC Worship but listening to these songs, it seems unfair to call The Dreebs an accessory to any other band. Recorded at their headquarters in Brooklyn, Forest Of A Crew will likely be an introduction to the band for the world beyond New York, if not just the New York beyond DIY. Like any wonderful piece of art, Forest of a Crew mirrors a time and a place.
Unease competes with calm assurance throughout the album, but most dramatically and spectacularly on "Love Your Body," where Shanon Sigley's lyrical drumming enforces Adam Markiewicz's barked vocal delivery and foreboding violin. Yet the barking melts into a gentle falsetto, delivering the listener, momentarily, from uncertain tension to safety, like dipping into a warm bath. Jordan Bernstein's percussive approach to prepared guitar makes the breakdown in "Reese" sound like Jesus Lizard-gone-Gamelan. There is a timbre in the way this sound harmonizes with Markiewicz's violin that sounds really alien. This makes The Dreebs seem less like a collection of players and more like a single body whose main instrument is texture.
Forest of a Crew is the sum of 8 songs and 7 instrumentals. These pieces wash over the listener like vignettes of a fever dream, punctuated with moments of terror and beauty. It exists not in romanticized New York of old where artists could survive in squalor so long as they existed in inexpensive and undesirable locations where no squares fear to tread. Rather, the hellscape of The Dreebs is of a different variety, the decision to live as an artist in the city has become a perilous one. And in spite of, or rather because of this, Forest of a Crew is an inspiring testament to the tenacity and commitment of the minds and hearts that brought it to life.