Sleepwalkers Introduce Themselves with 7″ Single
I wasn’t sure what I’d find when I happened upon the Sleepwalkers debut release. I’ve seen them play a handful of times, and in each show they seemed to be juggling several identities. The songs cycled between near-stoner-rock riffology, Americana-tinged rock, glam-indebted psych-funk, and (inexplicably) 80’s pop rock. If this 7-inch is any indication though, they’re ready to bring it all together.
“Crisis” leads things off with a swinging bass line and stuttering drums underpinning Michael York’s coos and come-ons. The song builds and sways, layering melodies, reverbed harmonies, and descending guitar riffs. What could have been a concise pop song stretches out into a funky three guitar trance punctuated with tangles of pre-choruses, each catchier than the last, and the track’s all the better for it.
“Prey & Pressure” rounds out the set, a psych-rock workout with an indelibly simple riff. Equal parts ear worm and meat tenderizer, it’s a riff that strikes that cerebral sense of inevitability. You know it will reliably hit on the downbeat, yet through every iteration it seems to lag in mid-air for a second too long, you un-wince believing the danger gone, and finally it falls from the sky with a floor tom thud. This is a tricky kind of riff to pull of. It’s made all the more powerful when the chorus comes in, “I’m feeling pressure all the TIME!” It’s a commendable wail but I can’t help but want to peel off the glossy reverb and let some of the ragged tone the song calls for shine through.
Still, Sleepwalkers are showing they have a lot to offer and, if this initial release is any indication, they’re proper debut could be something special.
You can listen to and buy the single here.