The Sleepless - Noise Of Life
Owain Paciuszko 29/06/2010
Opening track If There's Love In My Heart I Can't Find It sounds like an 80s electronic cover of Dire Straits with Garth Marenghi's Doctor Sanchez on lead vocals, there's a certain flatness to the production with the vocals pushed too close, as if we're in the recording booth with the singer and the instrumentation is being played in another room.
The Sleepless are Ronan O'Hanlon on drums and Martin Carroll on guitars and vocals, each taking the lyrical and musical writing duties respectively. Second track This Life shares all the weaknesses of the opening track, perhaps this is a band who desperately need to record somewhere other than their home and throw a few studio bells and whistles at their sound as the strongs aren't particularly strong enough to hold their own against poor production. According to the P.R. they did spend a little studio time at Alaska Studios, London, but for the most part things are really dry on the record.
I Feel A Darkness sounds worse, the music is so muffled in comparison to the vocals that any energy and life the track may have had is strangled. Closing track Destined For Heaven is a different beast altogether, a lengthy instrumental with an ambient guitar line, slumberous and prog drumming. It's a style shift that actually suits the band, and their limitations on this record. Stripped of vocals and having to fend for itself, they create something with its own musical journey and it works well, managing to sustain its six minute running time without becoming laboured.
Unfortunately it's a bit too late by then to really rescue the record, with the heavy side of the scale weighing things down towards lacklustre, whilst the intriguing closing track is an improvment it doesn't quite give The Sleepless a full reprieve. It does however suggest that this could just be a project gone awry, and the band are capable of better, but just didn't manage to bottle their particular brand of lightning here.