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Dreem Machine plays the Starlight Lounge

The music Robin Davis hears in his head is hard rock. One might think its bluegrass or newgrass, as the Pagosa Springs born, raised and based musician may be best known to fans as a bluegrass picker. His resume includes time in Broke Mountain, Waiting on Trial, Six Dollar String Band and his own duo, all acts based in bluegrass or old-time music.

But he writes what he hears in his head, which as of now is writing for the hard-rock trio Dreem Machine, of which he sings and plays guitar, along with Jimi Davis on bass and vocals and Matt Cottle on drums.

Dreem Machine will perform tonight at the Starlight Lounge in downtown Durango.

“I write for this band; this kind of sound is the way I write,” Robin Davis said. “It’s the way I’ve always written, with this kind of sound in my head. And I’ve always had to transfer these over to the acoustic genre just to have the original material to play, but this is the sound I have in my head when I write, Dreem Machine stuff.”

Dreem Machine dropped its self-titled debut a few months back on most streaming services, with physical copies of the record forthcoming. File the record under hard rock, but it has elements of stoner rock with psychedelic and garage rock leanings.

“The guitar tone is pretty intense, it’s high gain guitar, which people associate with heavy metal,” Davis said. “To me, it’s a beautiful sound if you control it and do it right. It’s not your typical metal band or anything, but a lot of people hear a couple seconds and assume it is; hopefully, they give it a deeper listen.”

Giving it that deeper listen will take you into the world of the band, where lyrically they reference BMX and ‘Gleaming the Cube,’ Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and a love of pickup trucks; all of that comes with heavy riffs.

If you go

WHAT: Dreem Machine plays rock music.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday (Oct. 28).

WHERE: Starlight Lounge, 937 Main Ave.

MORE INFORMATION: Call 259-9018.

“One of the things I love about it, it’s whimsical,” Cottle said. “The tone is dark, and some of them are quick, some are sludgy and slow, but the lyrics, there’s nothing evil about it, and it’s not angry at all. It’s just heavy. It’s not dark, it’s not evil and it’s not angry, which I really enjoy.”

They’re also coming up with their own descriptors to describe what they do, as its more than “roots,” “Americana” or “hard rock.”

“We’ve been a band for a while now, and people still ask, ‘what would you call this?’ We get listeners that come to our shows and they’re like ‘I’m blown away, this is an original sound, and I don’t know what to call it,’ so we’ve thrown around things like ‘grunge grass,’” Jimi Davis said.

“One of the boxes you can check online is ‘Alternative-Americana,’” Cottle said. “That seems to be right down the middle.”

Detailed classification of the band is a minute measure. It’s riff-heavy rock music, at times reminiscent of Fu Manchu or Clutch, other times nodding to the power of Black Sabbath, all with a twist of psychedelic garage rock.

“It’s definitely psychedelic,” Jimi Davis said. “Robin’s a shredder, and Matt’s an amazing drummer, so, it’s kind of fun to let those two go.”

The most immediate plan for the band outside of playing local and regional shows, is to tour. Fans of the festival world and of Robin Davis’ former bands know the musician as the bluegrass picker he is. But there are more sounds that come out of that dude for people to hear: The trio looks to hit the road in 2023.

“I think all three of us are like ‘let’s do this,’” Jimi Davis said. “We think we have something here and we’re just excited to get it out there.”

Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at liggett_b@fortlewis.edu.