16 Jun 2021 - Pat O'
Experimental Rock/Post Rock | Release date: 26 Mar 2021
It’s a fusion of peerless and thought-provoking rock that spans numerous genres. it’s creative, it’s dark, but ultimately, it will have your undivided attention. Brooklyn’s Sleaping Dreaming have released M. Inclemens and it’s an album that needs to be heard.
Sleaping Dreaming are one of those unique bands that bring something unexpected and creative to the table. Post music has adopted a formula that is loosely built around slow, patient growth, tied together with instrumental layers that eventually reach that hair raising, chicken skinned moment where you find yourself swallowed up in emotion and astoundment. Sleaping Dreaming have for the most part abandoned this formula and have taken the road less travelled. These guys tend to cruise the “post-rock” highway and bring great atmospherics and melody just like everybody else before them. However, when they reach a crossroad, they don’t take the main road northbound, but opt for either the left hand path along the harsh and rugged west coast, or veer right and savour the bright and sunny south east. This is what makes the band unique and worthy of your time and attention. M. Inclemens is their fourth release and it’s an interesting and contrasting journey.
The opening track “Ring of Fireflies” opens up with gentle and soothing guitars and a lush bass line that gently creeps forward and pushes the door open for some forlorn and multi layered vocals that enchant and repent. The lyrics are thought provoking and dark and give the track a ghostly yet comforting presence. Lines like “A bright red splatter on a heart-soaked canvas, swing wide, devils on your shoulder” are poetry to my ears!. The track continues its funeral march until a slightly distorted guitar riff interrupts the procession, and brings the song on an even darker and more urgent path. It’s a striking and unique opening track that sets the scene and trend for the rest of the album.
“Sojourner’s Truth” is the second track and has a very interesting story to tell. It depicts the plight of Isabella Baumfree, a women’s rights activist who was born into slavery but escaped with her daughter in 1826. She went to court to reunite with her son, and in doing so, became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. She’s renowned for her speech “Aint I a woman”, and gave herself the name Sojourners Truth, hence the title for the track. Musically the song opens in almost Radiohead fashion with its off beat crashes and its dirty, semi-distorted guitars. The bass continues to groove and weave while the riffs rip, meander and wander. After the initial melee, things take a calmer but shadier twist. “Stoner-rock” influences kick and shuffle through the desert sands, and end with some more incredibly emotive and chilling lyrics, delivered with dead pan perfection. “Weep young widow for your lost children, hanging from trees, swinging lifeless arms like dolls. May the blood from their mouths nourish rivers and forests”. Utterly brilliant.
The following tracks “Kowalski”, “Hunter Gatherer” and “Prayer Hands” bring some fantastic high intensity “post-metal” melodies and hooks and effortlessly marry them with moments of head swaying “desert-rock” and head-bowed “shoegaze” drones. Clean, calm vocals are strewn throughout the tracks giving the music more meaning and personality. What I love about this album is the array of moods, tempos and ideas that they have cleverly incorporated. It brings to mind some great albums of recent times from the likes of Lazybones Flame Kids, Our Ceasing voice and Their Methlab where the track goes where it feels it needs to go. Song structures and rules are not adhered to. It moves on feeling, awareness and gut reactions, and it’s those ingredients that give this album the attitude and identity it has.
The closing track “Rainbow Dash 3” is the first track to use a spoken sample, and includes some sounds and synths to summon the gods of “stoner-rock”, and give us a powerful and groovy finale. Rasping guitars and slamming drums give a feel good vibe to an album that in the end, has hauled you through numerous emotions and sentiments. It’s an album that grabbed my attention the moment I heard it, and I hope that everyone reading this gives it a run out. M. Inclemens is the complete package and has everything you could ask for in the post music spectrum. It’s a layered and varied album, that’s busy but never loses direction. Hopefully this Brooklyn trio will hit the European circuit in the not too distant future and grace us with their unique style. Until then it’s a matter of playing their music and spreading the word. Don’t sleap on this one!!