8 / 10
Deep Sleep's 2nd 7" EP finds the bands settling into it's own sound a bit more than on their debut, which was pretty much straight up Adolescents meets Descendents worship. Those influences are certainly still here on this record but they've started to develop their own unique identity with some quirky guitar noodle parts and more of a mid-paced tempo throughout. Tony's vocals have also developed nicely with more of a nasally frantic talking style rather than a straight up yell. It works really well here. This recording features the current line up which includes Darick on drums and Mike Stearns on bass (fingered and not corny at all, I might add). Those two have been playing together for years in bands like the Spark, Jean Mills Society Torch, and the Jons, among others, and totally feed off each other and connect like few rhythm sections can. It's really Nick's guitar work here that helps to separate Deep Sleep from the glut of early 80s style punk bands going on right now. There's almost the vibe of an amped up Pixies meets Buzzcocks meets mid-era Dag Nasty element to some of the guitar tracks. Some nice reverby guitar overdubs really help this EP to stand out. Tony's lyrics deal with the typical topics of alienation and frustration, but don't come off as stale or trite. This is an exciting step for the band and I can't wait to see where they go from here.