Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Sleepers -- Comeback Special (2008)

The Sleepers -- Comeback Special (Pravda)

"Loaded". "Filthy Ways". "Jailbait". "Dirty Cop". These are the titles of four consecutive songs on the new album from this Chicago band. They should give you a pretty good idea where The Sleepers are coming from.

As cool as it would be if the songs behind these titles were arcane twee pop a la Sufjan Stevens and Belle And Sebastian, it’s even cooler that The Sleepers play the type of sleazy, blues based rock and roll that is never out of style, even when it’s not in style. The Sleepers come from the land of the New York Dolls, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Dogs D’Amour, Alice Cooper and every band that has a little early Rolling Stones and Pretty Things in its D.N.A.

Lead singer Tommy Richied almost blows it with the CD booklet photo, as the sweater clad smiling dude doesn’t match the weather beaten, attitude laden voice. A sweater? Isn’t that Vampire Weekend’s thing? But then I remember that a lot of great rockers donned sweaters (Exhibit A -- Gerry Rosalie of the The Sonics), and all is forgiven.

The band has an inexhaustible supply of rocking guitar riffs, like the one that fuels the careening "Detroit Ride". Drummer Johnny Action lives up to his name, keeping the song moving, as Richied sings out the mantra, "Detroit’s gonna save my soul," with the requisite conviction. Things are a bit greasier on "Filthy Ways", which has the gusto of prime Jason and the Scorchers, with the twang removed.

It’s not all slam and bam, no siree. The title track is a mid-tempo rocker in the tradition of songs like The Angels’ (a/k/a Angel City) "Marseilles" and a number of Aerosmith tunes, mixing hard riffs with a great melodic chorus. There are also some clever lyrics: "I’m sorry people/no autographs please/you know I’m huge with the Japanese." It’s a fun look on has been rockers trying to keep it going.

The best of the bunch is the rocket fueled "Abby Stone". This is just more accelerated blues rock, with a simple and effective chorus. What more do you need?

The biggest knock on this album is that there’s not loads of variety here, and so a few of the songs jumble together. But that never stopped AC/DC, did it?


Slack-a-gogo said...
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Bagatelle... said...

Como accedo al link?