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Sleepin Pillow - Superman's Blues CD (album) cover


Sleepin Pillow

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars SLEEPIN PILLOW are a promising Greek psychedelic progressive rock outfit that could win a popularity among Greek rock fans with their debut album "Apples On An Orange Tree" released in 2008. Although they have belonged to popular rock scene in Greece, they may be seeking after something of worldwide breakthrough, I always feel via their second album "Superman's Blues", more trippy, more garage-y than the previous one.

You can find some catchy flavour especially upon the title track (maybe) for popular appeal, but mysteriously and amazingly, they cannot go along with "pure popularity" so to speak. Please listen to the first and second one, and you can be punched out by their heavy fuzz with psychedelic texture stirring our brain patchily. Their melody lines can be more of mainstream than other Psychedelic Prog / Space Rock bands' but that's not all ... not only the way to be enjoyed easily but to push their strong intention for mixture of Greek and Eastern traditional psychedelic rock, they may understand I imagine.

Tremendous stream between "A Big Circle" and "Masterpiece" there is. Upon the former kick, voices with bulky effect can invade into and shake our liver ... very painful psychedelia. By the latter one our ears can get remarkable inflammation, that won't be removed easily. And the last track "Superman's Singing The Blues" is another (and the real) masterpiece in this creation ... Exactly based on the Oriental sitar-sounded background, a quiet and solemn psychedelic show goes on, with simple guitar phrases and drum beats. You can feel very happy under the Greek green air produced by SLEEPIN PILLOW.

A great work indeed.

Report this review (#381423)
Posted Monday, January 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Superman's Blues' - Sleepin Pillow (8/10)

Although the creative peak of psychedelic rock occurred shortly after it was pioneered in the latter half of the 60s, the style has persisted, albeit in different forms. There are still bands that keep the vintage torch alive, but I feel that the most promising modern incarnation of psychedelia comes in the form of bands like Porcupine Tree, and now Sleepin (sic) Pillow, a band from Greece. Releasing their debut a few years to some positive response across the board, 'Superman's Blues' shows them making another powerful statement. Already early on in their career, they are able to create vivid atmosphere with their music that keeps me wanting more from them.

Sleepin Pillow grace themselves with a very modern sound, as far as psych rock goes. There are only traces of classic trip-music here; parallels are much more easily drawn instead to other modern artists in alternative rock, most notably Radiohead, with whom this band shares many traits. Particularly in their inventive use of sounds and textures to create atmosphere, Sleepin Pillow makes a very strong impression. There is futuristic ambiance ('The Big Circle'), dark alt rock ('Silicone', 'Masterpiece') and even a brooding sitar passage with 'Superman Sings The Blues'. Suffice to say, the band keeps their listeners engaged from beginning to end, with so many great ideas inspiring me to listen more intently. The songwriting of the music is a little less impressive than their craftsmanship with atmosphere, but the songs themselves here are ones that are quickly memorable. Many songs here hold the same sense of melancholia I hear with Porcupine Tree, although the main noticeable difference is the singer, who may be aiming for the same effect as Steven Wilson, but his voice passes me as being a tad monotonous and dry. All the same, it fits the rather solemn vibe that some of these songs resonate.

'Superman's Blues' is not yet seeing Sleepin Pillow perfect their sound, but if my intuition is worth anything, I see Sleepin Pillow becoming one of Greece's premier progressive acts. They have a great deal of potential, and even now, parts of their sound have already been rounded up to a point where I am completely satisfied. Psychedelic rock certainly isn't what it used to be, but as far as Sleepin Pillow go, I would not say that's necessarily a bad thing.

Report this review (#544645)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the second album of Sleepin Pillow, which is my introduction to them.

I'd call this music psychedelic rock with a lot of qualities used from the ideas of modern progressive rock. The music is some bizarre child of Oceansize, Porcupine Tree and some stoner rock and psychedelia.

Energy on the most of the songs are great. Dominant bass guitar and atmospheric effects carry most of the songs on the first half.

The production and the way the layers and effects are used reminds me of Steven Wilson. Eastern rhythm instruments, electronic beats, a lot of production tricks differ them from a regular rock band to the likes of Porcupine Tree and other modern progressive rock bands.

This is a rock album that the main attention doesn't go to the guitars and the guitar playing. They are mostly simple rock guitars. But that doesn't mean that they're not used effectively. Sometimes they set the atmosphere by distortion effects and sometimes near-to-explode feeling with clean guitar playing. But the atmospheres are mostly set with the great keyboard use.

Another thing that reminds me Porcupine Tree on this album is the vocals. The vocalist sings his lines with muddy voice on some songs like "Pathetic". Since the music sometimes turns into atmospheric rock and metal , the vocal has to change the style radically. The vocal is not very capable to sing strongly on heavy moments of the album as well as on mellower moments. Wish there was more epic singing on these powerful moments. The overall vocals are mostly soft and melancholic. We even hear some whispering here and there.

As the albums flows to the second half, the music gets a little bit progger with wierd songs like "A Big Circle". This song is based on some brass and string instruments, it's pretty symphonic. But there's always a robotic voice talking with some numbers, and some signals that probably talk in morse is always there. The song ends, the morse signals continue a little bit into another song, which is mostly instrumental with a lot of electronic effects. The song is called "Masterpiece". The ending is very strong with the vocals, distortion guitars, keyboards and rock drumming involved. The next song "Simple Words of Truth" has also a great atmosphere. The melodies and music is more meloncholic. I enjoyed it very much.

The thing missing for this to be a true prog rock album is the general composition technics, which does not vary and get out of verse-chorus-verse much. Though I like some of the proggy bridges a lot, like on the half of the song "Dope".There are some songs that work as bridges, the album overall is pretty proggy, but I still have a feeling that this band tries to be commercial and prog together. Though that doesn't mean they make great albums. I have this soft spot for prog or avant-garde music as they sound like "more art" to me, but even for me, there's no need to dream this album to be progger, so I'll just enjoy what I have. And what I have is strong music with much emotion, mostly sadness and anger, presented very well. The flow of the songs and the material is strong enough to enjoy this musical journey throughout. So if you want to listen to an album of great atmospheres and production with nice melodies, I recommend this one.

Report this review (#613797)
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permalink

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