August 14, 2012

Album Review: SLEEPIES' Weird Wild World

Cutting through the bullshit of punk rock semantics is not such an easy task. No one ever wants to be accused of trying too hard, which might explain why Brooklyn-based BUZZSound SLEEPIES have managed to remain genuine toward the indifference approach, and quietly at that. With just one LP, EP and a few singles under their belt, the trio has have become darlings amidst their peers within NYC's close-knit DIY noisemaker community which counts recent breakthrough bands such as the Men and Mr. Dream as its more prominently faces. Fittingly enough, the former's Ben Greenberg has been a constant in producing SLEEPIES' efforts while the latter's drummer and all-around indie scene renaissance man, Nick Sylvester, wisely signed them to his label, Godmode Records. Along with regained appreciation in the genre's no-frills approach, it's put SLEEPIES in an ideal position to make a resonating impression outside their general circle with their sophomore LP Weird Wild World, and the trio doesn't waste a single second in their crass yet craftful exploitation of it.

Weird Wild World other possible working title could have easily been "Fuck Off," if not just for its countless use of f-bombs, but for the band's wide awake awareness that they're underdogs going into this thing from the moment you hit "play." The thing is, they could care less. That's they're stronghold. Today's current state of music criticism aggravatingly thrives on sound needing to have purpose -- To stand for something beyond sociological comprehension or to rebel against an identity that was rebelled against last year but has since become a rebellion again itself while forgetting how to rebel... or something. Apparently there is no such thing as just being good enough as is these days, to the point where not trying to make a point is a crime against art. Basically, go Grimes or go home.

SLEEPIES take that theory to combat from the get-go in a snarly confrontational fashion with the rabble-rousing geek punk opener "Cool Boy" and the lethargically buzzing "Strange Places," a track that might have happened 20 years ago if Blur's social apathy was birthed in the thick of American grunge instead of the sublime United Kingdom of Brit Pop. As Weird Wild World tears on with sideways swirlers like "Got a Way" and "Setback," the Brooklyn trio's effortless show of worth of fusing pent anger (and there's so much of it just sitting in the hooks without even flinching) alongside slushy, adrenaline-fixed fuzz punk helps you see the outline resembling unfettered ambitions of the Pixies, Wipers or early Nirvana -- All who took the path of resistance by choice and bemusingly prevailed in their war against the contrived. SLEEPIES never ask for ask for your approval even as they throw bad habits in your face ("Waste Water") or flip you off with wry sarcasm ("Seriously.") Just come as you fucking are.

Weird Wild World is an album for anyone who's currently fed up with the constant malaise of trend or pretense, and how certain tastemakers glorify punk as some obscure art you'd only see at a showcase inside a run-down church (headlined by Grimes, of course.) It's the prescription for anyone who gets sick to their stomach every time Ian Cohen gives an album a 5.6 on Pitchfork, or the clear answer after being confused by a Stereogum dad after he uses the entire dictionary of words to talk up the latest Nachtmystium album (but just three -- those being "beautiful," "gorgeous" and "amazing" -- whenever covering a female singer-songwriter.) It's the crown jewel tailor made for the Pelly dynasty's monopoly on DIY. It's Christopher Weingarten's favorite album he already heard 16 years ago. It's Consequence of Sound's favorite album they don't even know exists yet. And yes, maybe I'm letting some of my frustrations as a trying music critic who constantly tests the waters to see if my words mean just as much as anyone else (to no avail) shine through here, but that's also the cynical route SLEEPIES have taken here on their sophomore effort. In their case, as far as this review goes, they succeed. I'm just not so sure they even care.

SLEEPIES' Weird Wild World will be released August 21, 2012 on Godmode Records / 16oh Records.

1 comment:

  1. Great biting review of a great band with bite!