Thursday, May 7, 2015
Cassette Review: Sleep Talker "S/T" (Funny/Not Funny Records)
[$5 // Edition of 35 // http://funnynotfunnyrecords.limitedrun.com/products/547989-sleep-talker-s-t-cassette-digital-download]
If you've never known someone who talks in their sleep then you are not living life, my friend. This self-titled cassette from Sleep Talker has a distinct sound to it, but it's only because it has that voice which makes it unique to the artist. If you sat down and began singing, just belting out songs, I doubt that you would sound exactly like someone else and as such Sleep Talker does have that same quality which is good for the listener but bad for the reviewer because there isn't a lot to compare it with.
The songs are acoustic punk rock at their core, which could just translate to folk punk for some (I feel the term "folk punk" though has almost taken on a "shoegaze" type of deal now where it is just seemingly used to describe everything) and for a brief moment I thought maybe it was twee but that notion was quickly dashed. One of the first influences I heard come out was that of Green Day (mostly in the vocals though) and this somehow does have that feel of that song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" that they did.
Through carefully strung melodies come what resemble protest songs, like the early days of Bob Dylan, but also have something modern in them like Adam France. It's not that close to being like The Wrens but close enough that I will mention it. Overall the music just has this quality to it that isn't darkness but just serious undertones unlike I've never heard before. The lyrics are right there, as these are great songs not just musically but also for what is being sung about.
One of the only ways I can maybe come close to describing this is to compare it with an acoustic song by Hot Water Music, specifically if you go back to that Alkaline Trio / Hot Water Music split CD where they covered a few of each others songs. But that still doesn't fully do it justice and that could easily be what sets this apart from everything else. Is it good? Yes, it's great. But do you understand that in the time I've been doing this, I always bring acoustic music back to something (EFS, Lyndsay Diaries, etc.) and yet here I have no real strong comparison as I usually do. If for no other reason, that should be why you listen to this one and, yes, it is much better on cassette.