Wintersleep are a quartet from Halifax, Nova Scotia. In April 2003, their self-titled debut made quite a stir in the local music scene and all over Nova Scotia for that matter. But with help from steady radio play, and even appearances on Much Music, they have grown in popularity immensely all over Canada. Their much anticipated follow up called “Untitled” (Dependant Music), landed on store selves in February 2005, and has created a even larger following, while keeping critics praising them for yet another fantastic album.
Loel Campbell (Drums)
Jud Haynes (Bass)
Paul Murphy (Guitar/Vocals)
Tim D’Eon (Guitar)
The first track “Lipstick”, starts you off with a good dose of what this band is trying to convey with their music. Very simple lyrics, with a guitar riff to match. Catchy choruses, and simple verses is what this band is made of. Songs like “Listen (Listen, Listen)” show this without a doubt. With the singer almost just whispering to the drum beat, and whistling to the bass to made up the track.
However, this band is not all slow jams and such. “Danse Macabre” and “Jaws of Life” are two of the harder hitting songs of this album. Little progression, replaced with a solid guitar riff, and drums that sound like they owe the guy money.
Like with most of their songs throughout their self-titled and “Untitled” albums, their lyrics are simplistic, but witty, and intelligent when they need to be. A perfect example of this is “Fog”. With a country influence to the track, Murphy sings his hart out a make you feel every word. "I miss your smile, I miss your smile, I need you now, I need you now, I am not scared of falling down, I am not scared of dark, dark clouds", lines such as this are child like in a way, but Murphy has a way to make these appear like new ideas, and actually make them his own. “Insomnia” is another song that uses this formula to create a great song in its own right.
Hynes and D’Eon get to shine on “Migration” and “Nerves Normal, Breath Normal”. The tracks take on a new life with Haynes base, and D’Eon gets to cut lose with a un-ordinary guitar riff. These songs start with a harder edge, and it never dulls.
Wintersleep use progression in many of their songs. Tracks such as “A Long Flight” and “Faithful Guide” are two of the better they have done on any piece of work, past or present. Both start with Murphy whispering the lyrics, but he comes through with a powerful performance towards the end of both key tracks. However, Murphy flimsy voice at points in these songs could turn people off. This shows its ugly head very few times on this album, but it does none the less. Another example of this is “People Talk”. With no real direction, easily the weakest song on the album . Murphy seems bored and uninspired for the majority of the three minutes.
Intense, aggressive, and even abrasive all the while keeping it melody driven rock. A beautiful piece of work by a band rapidly growing in popularity, and have no plans to slow down anytime soon. Wintersleep improved over their self-titled, and I for one can only hope they do they same on the next album.
- Great progression throughout.
- Simple but very catchy melodies.
-Unsteady vocal performance at times.
- Danse Macabre
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