Sleep In.


Written by: TL on 18/05/2014 20:28:49

It's been a busy pair of weeks in terms of reviewing shows, so to get back to reporting to you about some albums, let's get things started with a record I've scooped up with no prior knowledge of its parent band. Sleep In. (their punctuation) is a quintet from New Jersey whose new album "Settling" is their first full length, and much to my delight I've found their categorization a difficult and elusive task, for the promising reason that their album, despite a homogenous and identifiable production job, is diverse enough in its moods and references to keep you guessing.

To narrow things down though, we're somewhere between the realms of bright alternative rock and mid-tempo pop-punk, not all that far from bands like Transit, Misser or Stickup Kid, but without either's feelings of youthfulness and obviousness. Sleep In. instead sound more contemplative and well, sleepy, channeling Third Eye Blind in the sunny chords of opener "I Do Know And I'm Not Sorry" which starts off the album in excellent, recognisable fashion, while "Streets" reminds me of Mae in more than one place and "Bound To Fold" sounds eeriely like something I could've heard on a Dear And The Headlights record. To boot, there's plenty of noodling emo/math guitar to echo Into It. Over It. or Modern Baseball, while the occasional strain in the vocals has me thinking of British lad-rock like Lower Than Atlantis - Just check out the "What do you waaant from mee?" chorus in "A Lot To Say" for an example.

Needless to say, it's a challenge for me to dislike anything that casts so many shadows that are similar to bands I already like, without ever sounding like any of them are straight up copied. A song like "Streets" in particular has great dynamics, a sticky melody in "Heeey! Why don't you stay the night?" which is carried over by a sweet riff into its alternate line "If we breeeak! At the first sign of pressure, then maybe lesser people deserve to be where we are, and to feel how we feel. So tell me is this real enough for you?" Tack on a bridge in which the vocals for a second sound like Andrew McMahon in his Something Corporate days and I'm pretty much sold.

Further highlights include the mentioned "A Lot To Say" and "I Do Know And I'm Not Sorry", while both "Bound To Fold", "Scars" and the tender "Come Closer" also deserve positive mentions, although admittedly, "Settling"'s main overall weakness probably is that its hooks are somewhat moderate in strength, making me question how long the songs can actually last individually. As an album however, "Settling" unifies strongly, putting an intriguing foot forward immediately and continuing to offer diversity and deceptively catchy bits throughout a twisting and turning listen in which the lyrics and temperament sound consistently compelling and worthy of returning listens - returning listens that have seemed to continue to grow increasingly gratifying during my time with the album.


Download: Streets, I Do Know And I'm Not Sorry, A Lot To Say
For The Fans Of: Stickup Kid, Lower Than Atlantis, Transit

Release date 29.04.2014
Hide Away Records

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