Kill Hannah
Wake Up The Sleepers


2.5
average

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
October 20th, 2009 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kill Hannah opts for a grittier approach to their synth-laden brand of alt. rock that ultimately fails to live up to the potential shown on previous albums.

Most bands are going to play with their sound at some point in their career, it’s almost inevitable. Occasionally this desire to evolve will lead to something great and unique (or at least better), but not usually. Typically, the result of a band’s experimentation will be a mess of poorly executed ideas forced into a vague semblance of their previous musical formula – this is Wake Up the Sleepers in a nutshell. The band have taken their synth-laden alternative rock and tried to force it into a darker, grittier package that also (inexplicably) has them adding an electro/dance element as well. The end result is an album that, overall, fails at delivering the catchy melodies and memorable choruses of the past and also fails at integrating the new elements in any worthwhile manner.

The album begins well enough with opening tune, “Radio”, which largely sticks to the band’s previous formula of strong choruses and inventive synth melodies over an alt. rock backdrop, albeit with a grungier guitar tone, but after that things mostly go downhill. The problem with the band attempting a heavier, darker album is that it has sucked all the life out of most of their songs. Despite the tempos, they simply feel lethargic and unremarkable due to the drop in quality choruses and upbeat melodies. Also buried within this album are tracks that take on an electro/dance element that work even less than the band’s newfound grunge styling. This dance component has a tendency to cause the songs to sound cheap and lo-fi when used on its own, and like a metrosexual Orgy when more fully integrated (check out “New York City Speed” for proof). The album’s one bright spot is the song “Mouth to Mouth” due to it being the only track to truly integrate all of the band’s ideas into one entertaining package. The dance beat is energetic and creative, the riffs manage to be gritty and memorable at the same time, the guitar solo is outstanding and it features one of the only really catchy vocal performances on the album.

For dedicated fans there is probably enough for them to proclaim this another homerun for the band, but for more discretionary listeners this will ultimately be a disappointment. Despite the fact that this album is still easily recognizable as a Kill Hannah release, the changes that have taken place haven’t been for the better. The grittier guitar tone has edged out most of the strong melodies and the darker vibe has sucked the life from the songs – and the role of the electro/dance elements is still up in the air due to the lack of integration into the band’s overall sound. The album’s one shining moment, “Mouth to Mouth”, should still gives fans hope but at this time the band are at a point where they aren’t using any of their strengths or influences very well.



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user ratings (40)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
October 20th 2009


15978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I've had this album for two weeks and tried to give it time to set in, but it never did. After three days it went from a 2 to a 2.5 and that has to count for something, I guess.

Digging: Necropoli - I

bloc
October 20th 2009


34854 Comments


gotta check this out of curiosity, i remember how catchy Lips like Morphine was from their older record.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Willie
Moderator
October 20th 2009


15978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

There's nothing as catchy or upbeat as that song on this album. If you haven't heard the full album that "lips like morphine" came from than that's the one you should check out.

BallsToTheWall
October 20th 2009


44388 Comments


Last time I checked band sucked. And they apparently still do. Good review.

Digging: Carissa's Wierd - Songs About Leaving

Willie
Moderator
October 20th 2009


15978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ha ha, yeah I don't think this band is your thing Balls.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ooh, you sound very disappointed Trey. Good review... You repeat a couple of things, but it nails the point home.

ScorpionStan
October 20th 2009


1834 Comments


that sucks, i love Lips Like Morphine. guess i'll check out that album instead.

Deathcar
October 20th 2009


1534 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Good review.

I've always found this band to be painfully generic, and looks like their attempts to be different have actually made things worse.

Wasn't going to check this out, but my brother got it and so i've heard it from him. Yay (or not.)

Willie
Moderator
October 20th 2009


15978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I am disappointed because I really liked the previous album. I know exactly what repeated parts you're talking about, and I'll probably fix it tomorrow. This was one of my faster write ups.

I didn't think their previous album was generic. They definitely had their own spin on their genre.

cirq
October 22nd 2009


9264 Comments


i want a girl with lips like morphine

Willie
Moderator
October 22nd 2009


15978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I thought these guys were more well known, but it seems it's just that one song (and it's not even really representative of the album it's on).

kitsch
October 23rd 2009


5107 Comments


a lot of my friends like this band, i've only heard their older stuff when i was really blazed and it was decent.

toyour
October 25th 2009


95 Comments


good review, I had the previous album but I deleted that so I guess there's no point checking this one out.

Willie
Moderator
October 28th 2009


15978 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nope, none at all.

Waior
October 29th 2009


11451 Comments


Trey, both this and the Within Temptation review summaries on the home page had me excited for the albums and expecting positive reviews... silly ambidextrous summaries. I'll avoid this one too then.

bmsmcr
August 3rd 2010


118 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I actually enjoyed this record. I like the darker approach cause Kill Hannah is as far as I will go on listening to this kind of music. I also liked their earlier work as well, enjoy this one better. My favorite song from them all time is "Hummingbirds the Size of Bullets" LOVE THAT SONG!

SlightlyEpic
August 3rd 2010


5780 Comments


once tried to get into the pants of a girl that was into this band

never did

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 3rd 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

After their excellent 5th album struggled to make a mark on the mainstream charts, Chicago's Kill Hannah ditch their major label contract & return with 'Wake Up The Sleepers'. Unsurprisingly, they head in a slightly darker direction, yet never follow through with any real sense of experimentation or boundary pushing. The double whammy is that much of their anthemic qualities have also been watered down, leaving a confused LP that feels neither here nor there. It's relatively consistent & the musicianship is tighter than ever, but only 'Strobe Lights' approaches the band's best work. Recommended Tracks: Strobe Lights, Escape Artistry & Radio.

SCREAMorphine
September 15th 2013


1752 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Listening to Kill Hannah feels like a real cheap experience.
Not a bad band, just shallow pointless music (In my opinion).

I've enjoyed most of their releases, Wake Up The Sleepers is one of their best.



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