Review Summary: For All Those Sleeping put out a very strong debut, but there is a lot of room for improvement.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
For All Those Sleeping is a band from Minnesota who play very catchy post-hardcore with a very strong pop-punk influence. They sound like A Day To Remember mixed with Let It Enfold You era Senses Fail.
The vocals on the album are very well done. FATS use three of its members to provide the vocal duties which make the band very unique. Frontman Mike Champa does most of the screams and the clean vocals in the verses of the songs. He has a very good voice that reminds me of Kellen Quinn from Sleeping With Sirens. His screams are very good as well. He does all of the high pitched screams and does a very good job at keeping them fresh, as they never get old. They remind me a lot of Buddy Neilson's screams on "Let It Enfold You" He does some of the low screams but they are not nearly as good as his highs. Guitarist Jerad Pierskalla does most of the low screams on the albums and, unlike Champa, does them perfectly. His parts are most noticeable on "I'm Not Dead Yet" and "He's Dead Because Mommy Killed Him." Bassist London Snetsinger (kind of ironic) handles the clean vocal in the choruses of all the songs. He sounds similar to Champa when he sings, however, he is noticeably lower pitched than Campa. His best performances are on "Favorite Liar", "I Hate To See You Go", and "Runaway" where his melodies really soar and get caught in your head very easily. The cleans are used much more frequently then the screamed vocals which I think inhance the sound of the album
The musicianship on the album is good. Most bands in this genre use breakdowns way too much. What seperates FATS from those bands is that they use breakdowns sparingly. And when they do use them, man are they poweful. The breakdown in "Janice, It Ain't Funny" is one of the better breakdowns that I have heard. Other songs such as "The Outbreak Of Heartache" and "I'm Not Dead Yet" and "Favorite Liar" have great breakdowns as well. Lead guitarist David Volgman-Stevens plays some very nice riffs especially in "The Midnight Society." His most memorable moment is the hammer-on in "He's Dead Because Mommy Killed Him." The drumming is your average drumming for the genre and is easily forgetten. There is a lot of double-bass and fast pop-punk style drumming. The bass is inaudble which is nothing new to the genre.
The lyrical content is based on a zombie apacolypse and the horror genre. The song "He's Dead Because Mommy Killed Him" is a bunch of quotes from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Overall, the lyrics are pretty generic.
For All Those Sleeping put out a very strong debut album. The only downside I have is that the music part is drowned out by how powerful the vocals are. That is what bring the album down from a 4 to a 3. The breakdowns, when used, save the band's sound. I would like to see an improvement in the instrumentation on future albums.