MEANS WELL "Don't Dream"
(Self Aware Records)

Means Well are a three piece band from Asheville, NC signed to Self Aware Records. The city has a reputation of being a mecca of art and free will in the mountains of North Carolina and Means Well reflect it in their music. According to their Facebook, they make ‘happy indie/punk’. If “Don’t Dream” is to be considered a punk album it certainly falls on the lighter end of the spectrum; which is not necessarily a bad thing. Although a couple tracks with names like “Hey Satan” and “Dylar Junkie” are featured, the latter of which is about the devastation caused by drug abuse from someone close, the album maintains a pleasantly upbeat tone throughout.

All 8 songs feature nice dual vocals from Josh and Katrina Cook. I found that Josh’s voice took a little more warming up than Katrina’s. But they both complement each other very well. The trio sounds perfectly in-sync instrumentally. Besides the aforementioned distinct taste of Asheville in their music, the other major takeaway I had from listening to “Don’t Dream” is that Means Well is a big fan of 90s indie music. Track #3, titled “Honestly”, would not be out of place on any mixtape of that era. While they may not be reinventing the wheel, Means Well’s tape was a fun listen for me.
If that intrigues you then consider being one of the 100 people to get a copy. 

 -- Roy Blumenfeld