Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group
Early this past September, underground rock act Sleep Signals released its latest studio recording, its EP At The End of the World to the masses. The six-song record, which features musical arrangements that will appeal to fans of Avenged Sevenfold, is a strong effort from the Minneapolis, MN-based band. That is due in part to a diverse array of musical arrangements exhibited throughout its run. This will be discussed shortly. The record’s lyrical themes are just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements. They will be discussed later. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements, and ensures just as much as its musical and lyrical content, listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment. Each element noted here is important in its own right to the EP’s whole. All things considered, the noted elements make this record a work that is certain to wake lots of new listeners.
Sleep Signals’ latest studio recording At The End of the World is a solid new effort that is certain to wake up plenty of new listeners, including possibly mainstream radio programmers. That is especially the case as the band tours in support of its new EP alongside Elisium on “The High Tides Tour.” That ensured growth and success is due in part to the diversity presented in the EP’s musical arrangements. The record opens with an up-tempo, guitar-driven arrangement in ‘Suit & Tie Suicide’ that is easily likened to songs from Avenged Sevenfold, Black Veil Brides and other similar acts. ‘I’ll Save You,’ the EP’s second song, is just as easily compared to the aforementioned band through its musical arrangement. The band doesn’t stick to that one sound too long, though. ‘Edge of My Sanity’ noticeably changes things up with an arrangement that will appeal to fans of Saving Abel, Hinder, Seether and other similar acts. Such a juxtaposition between the EP’s first three songs makes for quite an impact. The interest doesn’t end there, either. ‘Drive,’ the EP’s fourth track, presents a pure hard rock arrangement that, when coupled with front man Robert Cosgrove’s vocal delivery, conjures thoughts of Buckcherry (at least in this critic’s ears). ‘Rewind’ meanwhile presents an arrangement that leans more in an emocore direction. As the record comes to its end in ‘Welcome to the Masquerade,’ it actually becomes even more musically interesting as it takes those Avenged Sevenfold, etc. influences already exhibited early on and crosses them with the also noted emocore leanings that are also included here. The end result is a work that will certainly keep listeners’ attention just as much as the record’s other works. Whether for that song, the record’s others or all together, it becomes clear in examining the EP’s musical arrangements why exactly they are so critical to its overall performance. They display a wide range of influences that will easily reach just as many listeners. That is definitely to be commended in examining the EP. It is of course just one of the EP’s most important elements. Its lyrical themes are just as important to discuss as its musical arrangements.
The lyrical themes presented throughout Sleep Signals’ new EP At The End of the World because they are just as widespread as the record’s musical arrangements. ‘Suit & Tie Suicide’ comes across as a commentary on people not trying to live their lives, but rather becoming conditioned by life. This is inferred as Cosgrove sings, “Wake up, punch the clock/Another day in a dead-end job/We waste away/We never question who we are and what will be/Are we too blind to see/Reality, a mass deception/But we still feed the machine/9 to 5, we work our lives away/Day in, day out/Suit and tie suicide/Join the funeral procession/It’s our same-routine obsession/You’re not living when you’re dead inside/Suit & tie suicide.” It comes across as a call to people to not be afraid to live their lives; call to take those chances in life. It is not a rare message anywhere in the musical universe, but a positive one nonetheless.
As serious as Sleep Signals is in its new EP’s opener, it doesn’t stay too serious for too long. ‘Drive’ supports that statement through its lyrical theme, which is a simple song about a woman. Cosgrove sings of the woman in question, “I didn’t wanna be the one to slow us down and fall behind/But I’m addicted to how she moves/She goes so fast she blows my mind/3 a.m., an empty room/A night so long, it’s never-ending/She always gets what she wants/Keeps me knocking down the door/I’m always coming back for more.” That is just a small glimpse into how crazy the woman in question makes the song’s subject. Cosgrove additionally sings from the subject’s viewpoint, “I wanna get you alone,” clearly showing how much he wants the woman. The energy in the song’s musical arrangement makes that message even more fun. Even as much as it stands out from the more serious message of the EP’s opener, it is not the last example of the EP’s lyrical diversity. ‘Welcome to the Masquerade,’ the EP’s closer is certain to generate its own share of discussions if it hasn’t already done so.
Cosgrove sings in the first verse of ”Welcome to the Masquerade,’ “You wear a crown of fake gold/You live a life you sold your soul…your heart is black/This time it’s over/So don’t close your eyes/You must see what you have done/See what you have become/And now I’ll carry on/You will never be the death of me/I will watch you waste life away/Day by day/Behind the mask into the shade/Welcome to the masquerade.” That lead verse leads one to infer that the song is meant to be a commentary on someone who has lived a life trying to deceive others, yet hasn’t fully succeeded in doing that. That seeming commentary is strengthened even more as Cosgrove sings in the song’s second verse, “Another place, another time/Another day you left behind/Everyday/And everyone/Your time is coming/So don’t close your eyes/You must see what you have done/See what you’ve become.” It’s a strong message, needless to say, and yet another example of the record’s lyrical diversity. It still is not the last of the songs that serves to exemplify that diversity, either. The EP’s other songs serve in their own right to support that statement just as much. Keeping that in mind, examining those songs along with the works noted here proves the importance of the EP’s lyrical themes to its whole just as much as its musical arrangements. They of course are collectively still not the last important element to note here. The record’s overall sequencing rounds out its most important elements.
The sequencing of Sleep Signals’ new EP rounds out its most important elements. In examining the record’s sequencing, listeners will note that the EP’s energy remains relatively stable from one song to the next. The record’s first two entries are solid, driving works even despite their different stylistic approaches in their arrangements. ‘Edge of My Sanity’ pulls things back even more with its brooding musical and lyrical energies. Even being brooding, those energies only last so long before the EP picks right back up in ‘Drive.’ That driving energy remains right to the record’s end, ensuring even more listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment. Simply put, from one song to the next, it is clear that plenty of time and thought was put into this record’s sequencing. That time and thought paid off, too. When it is considered alongside the songs’ arrangements and their lyrical themes, the whole of the record proves to be another solid effort that definitely will wake up plenty of new fans.
Sleep Signals’ new EP At The End of the World is a solid new effort that is certain to wake plenty of new fans to the band and its body of work. That is proven through the diversity exhibited in the record’s musical arrangements and lyrical themes. The time and thought put into the record’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation. When all three elements are joined, they make this EP a work that is certain to wake lots of new fans. It is available now, and can be bought at any of the band’s current live dates. The band’s current tour schedule is noted below. Tickets for the shows can be bought at the band’s official website.
11/22 Sanford, FL @ West End Trading Co.
11/24 Satellite Beach, FL @ Wynfield’s
11/26 Daytona Beach, FL @ Rok Bar
11/28 Birmingham, AL @ The Nick
11/30 Destin, FL @ Club L.A.
12/1 Lake Charles, LA @ The Center Stage
12/2 Houston, TX @ Acadia
12/3 Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog Bar
12/5 Wichita, KS @ Barleycorn’s
12/6 Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
12/7 Ames, IA @ DG’s Tap House
12/8 Fort Atkinson, WI @ Hijynx
12/9 Chippewa Falls, WI @ Every Buddy’s Bar
More information on Sleep Signals’ new EP, its new tour, latest news and more is available online now at:
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