Sleeper City EP
Independent Release, 2006
REVIEW BY: Benny Balneg
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/25/2007
Music can get stale after listening to so much. You get to a point where every song you hear from the same genre sounds the same. The excitement that races in you every time you listen to your favorite song isn’t there anymore. Tuning in to your local radio stations won’t help either, as 90 percent of the music played in the airwaves is composed three-minute garbage by half-assed bands.
However, there are some exceptional bands out there that remind us there is still something that music has to offer. Although they don’t necessarily have to craft timeless pieces like Brahms or Stravinsky, or Nirvana for that matter, they definitely have their hearts set in the right place. In this case, Sleeper City makes their statement heard in their 2006 EP.
From the ripping impressions built by opener “Asleep,” Sleeper City’s music does not live up to the namesake. However, hearing the power-packed sound and hook-laden chorus rekindle a sound that bridges the gap between the catchiness of ‘90s alternative and the hard, intoxicating swagger of modern rock. The stuff isn’t bad at all. The song never lets down its intensity, setting an excellent tone for the following tracks.
The band’s atypical chord progressions and down-picked guitars create surprisingly catchy and unique melodies, giving it a rambunctious, if not quirky, sound. This is most evident in “Forced Induction;” the searing vocals and active rhythm section provide the backdrop for intensity.
Sleeper City also mixes it up a little bit, with “Thank You Very Little” opening up in idiosyncratic and upbeat rhythms while entrancing the verses with clean passages, before laying forth an immensely robust sound during the choruses.
Although the music is fresh and interesting, to say the least, it is not exactly what separates Sleeper City from the pack. Rather, it’s the urgency of the performances. The music may sound familiar to those in the scene, but the dynamics of the song and the high-energy level of the songs feel so, well, alive.
The energetic music interlaced with poetic lyrics serves as a potent mix for lively music. And with lyrics like “Screaming so that no one hears oh, the sound / Sleeping through the days awake to hold onto” from the song “Awake” being sung with conviction, you immediately begin to be drawn in the power of Sleeper City.
Sleeper City simply proves that music sounds best when you mean it, and everything else just follows. Sound has rarely felt alive, and this five-song offering has been able to produce one of the livelier albums I’ve heard in my life.