Closet Drama sprung forth from the same TX scene that gave us Joe Jitsu (the new band sharing 2 members of the old band), and now lead singer/songwriter Charlie has, if I may be so presumptuous, finalized his vision. Not that Joe Jitsu were without merit, releasing at least 2 great albums and a superb EP over the course of 10 years, but where that band leaned one way (four-eyed pop punk) and then another (melancholic punk pop), and yet another (Brian Wilson “pure” pop) Closet Drama firmly has it’s sound and style on sure footing. Dream State is a confident declaration of a band that knows what it wants in the studio, and has the chops to deliver. The sheer enjoyment I get from the production is almost ridiculous. Since when do the harmonies and melodies (both top-notch here, natch) and lyrics take a back seat to guitar sound? With me, rarely. Another unlikely but welcome thing about the album is that all 11 tracks clock in over 3 minutes, many close to or over 4 minutes, and yet each song feels half as long. The sequencing makes the album flow so smoothly it’s a nice ride no matter the length. My favorite tune at the moment is the epic album closer, “Faux.” Although there’s a tiny bit of bite and speeds pushing the limits of what can actually be called “mid-tempo” for the most part this is good old crunchy pop. Fans of Lemonheads, the A/V Club, and regular visitors to the Power Pop Madness blog should seek this out post haste.