Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Sleep In - The Woods
I generally try to stay away from reviewing records like Carnival. The ones where each song is different from the next and it's really hard to peg the album. I feel like I inevitably talk about the record on a song-by-song basis, and that makes me it seem like I don't "understand" the album. If I can't talk about the mood or overall sound, then it feels like I'm not doing my job right.
Sleep In's newest release from the inininfinitely unstoppable Enemies List is one of those records. He dropped it in my inbox over 2 months ago and I've been listening to it ever since, hoping to get a grasp on what kind of shit was going through this guy's mind. No luck. The only thing I've taken from my numerous Carnival listens is that 1: it's totally fucking rad and 2: it doesn't fucking matter if I can't pigeonhole this beast.
I could take the route and say Carnival is like a carnival, you get all sorts of weird shit and random experiences. But I'm not gonna do that. Promise.
So what does this record sound like? First off, it's pretty different from anything Enemies List has done before. It's not some twisted black metal Nahvalr, epic doom pop like Planning For Burial, or the industrial metalgaze of Have A Nice Life. Carnival isn't very metal at all. It gets heavy at times, but more like a psych noise freakout kinda heavy. There's backwoods swamp folk, electro-acoustic doom, warped guitar ambience, sprawling drone, feedbacked squalls, and plenty more that's just weird as fuck.
This is where I say, "But despite all these disparate sub-genres, Carnival still works because it keeps the thread of BLANK going through the whole thing." But I can't do that. I don't know what that thread is.
Despite not being able to decipher the overarching theme, I can still tell you Carnival doesn't seem haphazard or disjointed in any way. It works great as a record, everything flows and sounds perfect together. It's an album that's actually an album instead of simply a collection of songs. It's refreshing and original and 100% awesome.