ARTIST: SUNSLEEPER

TITLE: YOU CAN MISS SOMETHING & NOT WANT IT BACK

LABEL: RUDE RECORDS

RATING: 7.5/10

WORDS: JACK MOBLEY

Sunsleeper have had a turbulent few years in the lead up to the release of their debut album, ‘You Can Miss Something & Not Want It Back’ (YCMS&NWIB), that has fuelled the fire of the first record from the Utah based emo outfit. Since the release of the first and well-received EP, ‘Stay The Same’, the band have experience lineup changes and, lead singer, Jeffery Mudgett has gone through trials of anxiety and self deprecation. With this record, the band have put out a body of work that harks backs to moments and memories that are nostalgic in nature but in reality, aren’t places to revisit. Mudgett and co. have managed to compile their emotions from the past three years into a collection of emotional-rock songs that have late 90’s-early 00’s tendencies with a melodic vibe thanks to the influx of indie influences.

Opening track, ‘Feel The Same’ entices the listener in with Mudgett’s unique indie-laced voice and lyrics that tells a story of the past year of his life and the changes that have occurred but that lack of progression in his own existence, feeling the same. Upping the energy for ‘Soften Up’ with percussion elements ramping up, while the guitar line has an overdriven American Football tone. The bridge opens up the sound that feeds nicely into the spacious drums of ‘I Hope You’re Okay’.

“Mudgett and co. have managed to compile their emotions from the past three years into a collection of emotional-rock songs”

The tone of the record to this point is good but the addition of more noise could have improved the impact of the music; Mudgett carries the distortion mainly on his shoulders. The addition of heavier bass and guitars would have made the peaks soar rather than middling. ‘No Cure’ is the perfect example in the opening line, Mudgett naturally hoarse voice shines while the guitar is almost drowned out, while the bridge has a certain twang of a heavy riff but nothing to boost it to the next level.

The quieter moments allow the lead guitar line and Mudgett’s vocal to shine especially on tracks such as ‘Souvenir’, ’Fading’ and ‘Casual Mistakes’. The low-fi and relaxed qualities of ‘You Can’t Please Everyone’ offers a change of pace with the vocals and guitar complimenting each other. Once again touching back on the anxious traits that constantly emerge through the record.

“the Salt Lake City band have the knowledge of emo rock and have sprinkled indie laden guitars to add a level of melody to increase the quality tenfold.”

Penultimate track ‘Better Now’ picks up the energy for the final time during the album with strained vocals that a coupled with high pitched hooks that showcase a contrast, the bouncy chorus is tremendously backed up but the drums splashing throughout. Final track ‘Home’ ends the track listing on a sombre note, beating slowly while the vocals guide the listener throughout with the lines “I’m never home without you”, the piano bridge is slightly cliche but rightly so, adding more feathers to Sunsleeper’s bow.

A debut album can make or break a band and Sunsleeper have emerged clean on the other side with an array of songs that showcase quality songwriting and emotional, relatable lyricism. Well versed in genre, the Salt Lake City band have the knowledge of emo rock and have sprinkled indie laden guitars to add a level of melody to increase the quality tenfold. Emo music can easily be drowned out in the noise of bands trying to emerge but the relatively high level on display is one to keep track of, as a sophomore record will be the proof of this bands standard.

 

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