Review Summary: The collective sum of all your personalities.
Some things aren't made to go together. It's plain and simple. Chalk and cheese, cyanide and life, toothpaste and orange juice, and everything that makes Sleep Terror's newest EP such a disjointed, bipolar listening experience. Bar the tasty bass tone that pops off Abreaction
’s messy soundscape, Sleep Terror’s latest audio pile is an example of superfluous ideas and unholy sound combinations that lead nowhere of value after degrading the listeners’ first impressions. Thankfully, Abreaction
is not an altogether long listening experience for those willing to waste twenty minutes of their lives.
“Lackluster” opens with mellow twanged notes that somehow set the scene for a western duel, tumbleweed and all. A simple melody dances around the track’s foreground and everything sounds pleasant on paper, but nothing really goes anywhere. There’s simply nothing of substance here, just artificial self-indulgence wrapped in shallow guitar-centric instrumental gimmickry. It’s all part of the shame that Sleep Terror have garnered for their moniker here, simply because these guys are more than capable musicians writing purely “meshed for the sake of it” music. Sleep Terror shouldn’t have to resort to this style of song-writing with the talent they have on hand. The EP’s title track is a brazen example of this. Ideas are simply piled one after the other without a thought about flow or actual [quality] songwriting hidden among bumbling riffs and frantic blast beats. Sure, it’s ambitious, but the cost involved in throwing these riffs and blasts in the air is unlikely to leave anyone one ready (or wanting) to play catch. The outright funkiness of Sleep Terror’s surf rock and obnoxious clean tones found in the latter half of Abreaction
becomes a questionable pairing without rhyme or reason and lacking any foundation or substance to engage the listener. This is unfortunate since these ideas are first introduced in a peppered sense, before taking center stage across the length of the EP. For what it’s worth, a ‘less is more’ approach to the act’s merging of sounds would’ve served them much better in the long run, making Abreaction
a more coherent, enjoyable listen.
For all of Abreaction
’s musical shortcomings, its production is more than ample. Combined with the sound of the bass it gives a small silver lining to Sleep Terror’s efforts here. Overall however, it’s not enough to save Abreaction
’s core problem: instrumental talent alone does not equal passable songwriting, especially when it’s hidden under whammy masturbation and chintzy self-indulgence.