Personnel: Justin Therapy (vocals); Rod Meyer, Rob Enbom (guitar); Biggg Chris (drums).
Recording information: Old Standard Sound.
The self-titled album by Sleeping Beauties, a garage rock quintet including former members of the Hunches, Eat Skull, and the Hospitals, is a chaotic, swaggering blast of songs that celebrate the excesses of rock & roll. With titles like "Meth" and "Addicted to Drugs" and frequent lyrics about bad trips and living in grimy squalor, it's pretty obvious what the primary motivating factor behind these tunes is. While some of the songs are energetic and raucous, there are other moments that teeter on the brink of madness, with unhinged drug ramblings and slurred shouting. Six-minute centerpiece "Slumber Party" starts out fast and cowpunky, but ventures into an acid-soaked slower midsection that features vocalist Hart Gledhill going off about seeing swastikas in his third eye. The racing rhythm comes back as if nothing happened, but he clearly isn't the same, and he's surrounded by growling dogs and buzzing alarm clocks. "50's Haircut/Gold Shoes" features even more caustic ranting, and "South Eugene" sounds like the entire band is in different states of consciousness. The rhythm and acoustic guitar are relatively straightforward, but there's abrasive electric guitar scrambling in one channel, and the vocals are as out of tune and puked out as ever. Other tracks are a little bit more melodic and could almost pass for Kurt Vile or Parquet Courts if they had their stuff together. Similar to Royal Trux, this is a trippy, paranoid, vomit-soaked excursion into rock & roll's dark side, but there's still a freakish appeal to its over the top ugliness. ~ Paul Simpson