Saturday, 23 January 2010

Team Sleep
Team Sleep
Maverick Records
Rating: 4.5/5

I thought it was about time to include some trip-hop, so here we are: the loosely trip-hop dark electronic masterpiece that is the first Team Sleep album. From the opening drum loop on 'Ataraxia' you know this is going to be a sensational record, and save for the rap chorus of 'King Diamond' there isn't a bad song on here (although my friend who introduced me to this album swore by that as a great track, so).

After single 'Ever (Foreign Flag)', which showcases Chino Moreno's incredible voice, 'Princeton Review' and 'Our Ride to the Rectory', both suitably slow burning, steal the show; particularly the rhythmic breakdown at the end of 'Princeton', which is just downright cool. In 'Your Skull is Red' and 'Blvd. Nights', the band show their heavier side, and whilst great songs ('Blvd. Nights' in particular, which could very easily be a Vex Red b-side), you kind of feel like they are a little too similar to Saturday Night Wrist to really be the highlights of an album that is clearly about a different vibe to those of the Deftones.

For a combination of those amazing Chino vocals (see 'Ever Since WWI'), sparse electronica ('Tomb of Leigia') and the band's minimalist, left-field rock, look no further than 'Live from the Stage'. Years ago when I played this album to the girl I was with at the time, she pointed this out as the best song on the album, saying it sounded like the band "were playing on the surface of the moon". I can't help but agree. It's huge enough to suggest that the band are 238,000 miles from Earth and still counting. Let's hope that album two, slated for a 2010 release, takes them further into the void.

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