Review Summary: Anyone who thinks rock is dead, is either deaf or hasn’t heard of these guys...
Hard Rock has been a much loved genre over the years and created many of music’s greatest moments. However due to the rate at which rock bands have flooded the market over the last several years, it has become harder and harder for bands to stand apart from one another. This is where Perth hard rock outfit Sleepfreak step in with their self-titled debut EP. On the outside this EP may look like a worn out ’57 Chevy that everyone has served its time, but underneath the hood there is enough grunt and quirks that manage to breathe some life back into rock ‘N’ roll.
The very first thing that becomes evident when traversing this EP the first time through, is it simply rocks. The first heavy rocker that infects every inch of your body is the lead single ‘Sleazebag’ and if you couldn’t already tell, it follows a steady rock band lyrical formula. ‘Sleazebag’ is a dirty radio friendly rocker that verges on metal about being well.... a sleazebag, but proves to be a rather rollicking ride. With a daunting opening guitar crunch, the vocals quickly pierce through the stereo waves and soar high over the grungy guitars, which also wail at times. This self confessed ode to preying on women for a good time really has it all. Lead singer Adam Garac’s voice soothes and provides enough raw relentless energy to propel the catchiness of the chorus over the heavy, chunky guitar. What really makes this song however is that it doesn’t feel forced and a nice little personal touch proves this. After the second chorus the instruments plunge into a realm of their own supporting Garac’s now lower talking toned voice in which he utters ‘mmm.....solo’. Sure enough, straight after by a rip-sorter of an electric guitar solo erupts and does not over stay its welcome. The huge chorus helps push this song into a bonafide credible rocker. ‘Sleazebag’ might not offer much in the way of uniqueness unlike the rest of the EP, but it’s a damn rock filled outing.
‘Cryptic’ is where Sleepfreak truly shines and this is due to the use of the melodic keyboard used throughout the whole background of this song. The song is catchy, rocking and an overall good time. But it’s the keyboard the haunts the background like a twisted carnival and provides this song with much needed sense of depth than first thought. The keyboard used here dances around the ears from highs to lows, proving to be the catchiest part of the whole EP. Its little moments like the use of this keyboard or the personal touch of uttering ‘solo’ that sets albums apart from one another. The use of the keyboard is used again in following song ‘Sin’ but is used to create more of a hushed atmosphere over the instruments, rather than be the driving force of the song. The continued experimentation of infusing their blend of hard rock with elements of keyboarding is stimulating as well as being extremely effective. The final song on the EP ’12 Months’ picks up a sense of urgency that was lost on ‘Sin’ and shifts the pace a number of times. The keyboard work on this track sounds like an array of trumpets which adds to the overall composition of the song. Bass, drumming and guitar work all amalgamate in a somewhat jam-like rock out session towards the ending of this song, which is quite refreshing. ’12 Months’ lasting impression is an instrumental breakdown that now sounds as though the carnival has progressed to closing down, only to hopefully open again someday soon with bigger and better attractions.
Sleepfreak have shown with this self-titled debut EP that they know how to rock and want to experience it with anyone who will listen. The debut mixes elements of rock, metal and even blues with enough raw energy to match it with leaders in this genre. Sleepfreak could easily be filed somewhere between bands like Alice in Chains and Burn Season, with fans of the genre warming to them instantly. There is enough to be found within ‘Sleepfreak’ too be applauded and listened to a number of times. All members of the band work together to create songs that complement each other’s musicianship and achieve their overall goal of rocking. Although critics might say they are not the most unique band out there, I believe they have established a solid foundation to build a very bright future upon. Anyone who thinks rock is dead, is either deaf or hasn’t heard of these guys.