If there’s one thing Sleep Academy will be known for it is that they were the pioneers of doom-pop and power slop. I’m pretty sure the band is at least half-joking on their Bandcamp page but at the very least the band came up with some creative names (power slop has a certain ring to it).
The story of Sleep Academy is a familiar one. Young kids form band, young kids break up and go to college; slightly older young kids graduate from college and form another band. The band’s recent release Something Miserable is an impressive six song EP for a number of reasons. First off the band tracked everything themselves and the EP sounds far better than a majority of DIY efforts. I should note that they did get some professional help when it comes to mixing and mastering but anyone who knows anything about engineering knows how vital the tracking is. The mix isn’t going to be good if the recording is garbage and the master is going to be garbage if there isn’t a good mix.
Something Miserable is a mix of pop punk, hard rock, alternative and some other odd and ends. The thing I enjoyed about the songs is that the band doesn’t stick too many tropes or clichés of any particular genre. Some songs reminded me of Foo Fighters while a band like Title Fight also came to mind. The EP is laced with some very inventive guitar riffs and in my opinion the harder, balls to the walls type material was the band’s strength.
The band opens with “Our Photograph” which is hard-hitting yet dynamic song. I thought the guitar picking on the verse was great. You can hear my reference to Foo Fighters when the band hits their distortion pedals and the vocalist sounds a bit like David Grohl.
The gritty, distortion that takes over your speakers on “I’ll Take That Away” is overwhelming in a good way. It almost veers into shoegaze territory at some points. The way the guitar tone subtly changes is great but might not be picked up by passive listeners. “Guky” and “It's All Part of This Balanced Breakfast” are both fast paced, visceral songs that get you amped. The closer “Liars, Inc.” wasn’t my personal favorite track but probably the most radio friendly.
Sleep Academy may not have enough originality to create their own genres at this point but they definitely have unique sounds. Something Miserable is a strong effort with decent replay value.
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