Sleep State Homespun: Review of …Fuckin’ Pervert EP

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We had to cut Homespun for space this week (boo), but it's important to note that the band featured, Sleep State, is playing a release show at Vintage Vinyl on Friday, August 17 at 7 p.m. with the Ultravviolents. We'll run Christian Schaeffer's review in the paper next week, but here it is in its entirety below; after please take a listen to "Candy Flavored Napalm."

Straight outta High Ridge, Missouri, the two-piece experimental punk outfit Sleep State isn’t the finger-in-your-face kind of band suggested by the album title. Guitarist Curtis Tinsley and drummer Joseph Hess sing about small-town myopia (“Tractor Cancer”), the impossibility of creativity in a mindless culture (“Collapse in the Sun”) and the narrow confines of our identity (“Receipt for Your Integrity”). At least that’s what I think the songs are about: The lyrics aren’t especially artful nor are the arguments well-reasoned, so the listeners are on their own to connect the dots, which lends an impressionist bent to these songs. Sleep State prefers to throw out a handful of sharp darts at a few easy targets, and luckily a few of them stick.

Of the six tracks on the EP, two of them are minute-long instrumental bookends; one starts the disc off with a bed of seagull-like noise squalls, the other ends it with a brief but forceful guitar interlude. While the band lacks the precision and discipline of math-rockers, the stop-start dynamics and shifting tempos merge with Tinsley’s spindly guitar arpeggios and power chords. “Candy Flavored Napalm” begins with light touches of post-rock – jazzy drums and slow, meandering guitar lines – before building into a jerky, full-blown screed full of indignation and bile. The duo is conscious of setting a mood and a tone with their songs; there’s a sense of patience and restraint between passages of bruising chords and bashed cymbals.

"Candy Flavored Napalm":

-- Annie Zaleski

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