Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Deep Sleep - Turn Me Off

Are you craving something fast, hard, and loud? Since I'm unable to hear your response, due to that not being how writing a review works, I'll have to assume the obvious: Yes! Turn Me Off is the debut LP by Baltimore's hardcore punk group Deep Sleep. It's definitely fast, definitely hard, and really I can't guarantee the loudness because I don't control your volume settings. But, I recommend you blast it. Just like this band, I'm going to get through this shit fast, hard, and loud (I shout along to what I type).

The album kicks off strong with "Live Forever" and it's quite a kick. The instrumentals are very much like Descendents, whereas the vocals are closer to other 80s punk bands such as Black Flag or Minor Threat. Clocking in at just a second over one minute long, this song doesn't fuck around. The guitar leads are on the teachnical side, and the bass player is doing some interesting things. This song has a definite 1980s feel to it, but feels more mature in musicianship than anything released in the punk scene at the time. The second song starts off with some beautiful guitar, nothing out of the ordinary, but the tone is pretty awesome. This song isn't all too different from the first song. It packs a punch and does it with the same hardcore punk feel that you know you could have fun getting used to.

"Play Another" is the third track on Turn Me Off and offers you a little something different. The guitar kind of plays bitch to the bass in this one, and that's something along the lines of what Descendents do with their shit. The backup vocals are along the lines of Pennywise or Bad Religion, leaning more toward the former, though. The lead guitar at the end is my favorite part of this song, despite the rest of it being awesome. It ends so strongly, and feels like it's a lead in to something, but it's not. And you realize you're just fine with that. The next song has the same feel as the first two tracks, but there's no reason to hate on it. It's fast, exciting, and makes you wish you were at one of their shows right now. It does a lot in the way of making me understand why EVERYONE at Fest 9 was wearing a Deep Sleep shirt.

"Slow Down" is the guitar reminding you that you're supposed to be paying attention to it. The leads dominate most of the song, including having a rad solo at the end. Whereas the bass and drums dominate most of the verses. The vocalist Tony Pence doesn't have the most unique voice, but he has power in his vocals. Especially when you hear the next song "Be With You" which is dominated by the super fast vocals placed over the already standard super fast instrumentals. You get more of your backups vocals in this song, but totaling at 51 seconds, this song doesn't stick along very long. Short and sweet, bro.

"Destroy Everything" has the coolest fucking chorus you'll ever hear on such a short, fast little song. It's this weird slowdown that suits it perfectly, and despite being a short song, it brings a lot to love. "Nothing Inside" is another song that heavily reminds me of Descendents. It's one of the best songs on the album, and that's saying a lot for such a good album. "Head Spins" is another song that gets weird with the instrumentals a bit, and strays from the hardcore punk formula. The song makes you switch focus back and forth from the bass and guitar pretty consistently, until the end where they play the same role in your head and drive you to the last song, wishing it wasn't the last.

God damn the Descendents influence is really strong in the last song, "Another Me". This band very much reminds me of bands like Kid Dynamite too. I've never been huge into many hardcore punk bands, especially lately. But this album has made me a believer. It's really depressing that the album ends here, but they gave us almost 14 minutes of solid entertainment, and you can't hate on that. You can order this album off of Grave Mistake Records and join in on the fun everyone else is having. Get stoked on it!


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