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Sleeping People - Growing CD (album) cover

GROWING

Sleeping People

Post Rock/Math rock


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Atavachron
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4 stars San Diego foursome Sleeping People are true progressives, which they demonstrate on their second album. This math band's debut was very, very good but Growing is better and shows major development in composition, direction and production values. Kept is the sticky club atmosphere but the new explorations and layers of melodic texture raise things above the group's punkish demeanor. Guitarist Joileah Maddock has to be one of most innovative and convincing players in progressive rock and leads her band with sensitive discipline and a firm vision. Her mazes of lines are echoed by Kasey Boekholt on guitar, bassist Kenseth Thibideau, and the athletic Brandon Relf on drums. Grimy and beautiful at once, the record is ten cuts of twisting ivy that vines its way, knotting and gnarling together and back out again, starting with the burbling 'Centipede's Dream' which segues straight into chunky 'James Spader'. 'Mouth Breeder' may remind of Summers/Fripp's minimal experiments on I Advance Masked but has a dangerous energy that project lacked. '...Out Dream' features bassist Thibideau's keyboard, 'Three Things' is a hot but frustrated rock band craving a breakthrough, full of relentless drones and hidden moments, and absolutely fantastic Fripper 'Grow Worm'.

With Sleeping People we're never quite sure where everything is headed, with disaster surely right around the corner. But the band always pulls through and delivers high-energy arithmetic, and 'Growing' is one of 2007's most riveting CDs.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#155166)
Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2007 | Review Permalink
snobb
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4 stars US math rock band with heavy energy and Fripp-influenced guitars leading their music to unusual for post rock bands drive and tension. Complex and angular compositions and female lead guitarist excellent technique both can attract many instrumental rock lovers.

General musical structures are characteristic for math rock loops-like and cool calculated, but heavy rock energetic and complex musicianship still save this work from being repetitive or boring. Comparing with their debut, this second album is really better played and finished and contains much more mature music.

One of the style most rock-fuelled albums I ever listened. I am not sure how attractive could it be for math/post rock newcomers ( I always recommend very different from US-sound Sigur Ros early albums as the best introduction), but from another hand it can be really interesting for those searching on different instrumental prog-rock with high energy.

Really 3,5.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#263110)
Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
js (Easy Money)
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3 stars One of the finest bands to come out of the growing math rock genre, Sleeping People, at a very young age, already wield the power and authority of a veteran heavy rock band. This could be the mathematical act that breaks out of the genre and 'makes it big', ie outside the fans of math rock. The big star here, and the main reason for People's mature sound, is powerhouse guitarist Joileah Maddock and her arsenal of advanced guitar techniques. Comparisons to King Crimson are probably common with math rock bands, but no one earns that lofty tribute better than the People on this album which often sounds like the great grand- daughter of Fripp's mid to late 70s work from Larks Tongue to League of Gentlemen. Maddock is no mere copycat though, her precise interweaving lines mark her as a crafty guitarist in her own right.

Not to wear out the Crimson comparison, but my favorite moments on this album involve bone crunching whole tone chord progressions over grooving odd-metered kit work that sound like off-takes from the classic Starless album. Elsewhere on this album SP gives us an Enoish electronic number on Out Dream , as well as concert hall styled guitar minimalism on Centipede Dream. Although many of the songs on here are well arranged and carry much more impact than the usual generic math ditty, at their worst some SP songs drag on with too many pointless mathematical change-ups and not enough direction.

As mentioned before, this is the math rock band that could 'break', but before any math band hits the big time they are going to have to break some of their own overly strict rules. This album would easily crossover to classic progressive rock status if there was some occasional sustained melody, and would it really kill the mathematical guitarist to break out in a solo occasionally, either melodic or fret shredding. I keep wanting to hear a Manzenera styled hook, or maybe some Jeff Beckish sustained bends that would lift this music to the next level. Someday some hot shot producer like Laswell or Eno is going to grab one of these bands and fill out their sound and make them the next big thing. Until then, Sleeping People stand at, or near, the head of the pack in this still developing genre.

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#290927)
Posted Sunday, July 18, 2010 | Review Permalink

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