Fresno shoegaze trio The Sleepover Disaster have been going at it since the beginning of this decade, putting out increasingly tight and dynamic songs with each successive release. Their upwards trajectory continues on their latest full-length, Hover; their first release for indie stalwart Devil In The Woods. Punchy songs like opener “Friend”, “Tremble” and “Edward Said” display an early-Ride type of attack, with a full-on assault of buzz-saw guitars and pounding rhythms. That’s all good and well, but the band also has, in Luke Giffen, a vocalist with a real singing voice and actual melodic range, which raises Hover beyond a standard shoegaze rehash. There’s also several mid-tempo songs like “Dark Star”, “Make You Sing” and the eight-minute closer “Songwriting For Dummies” which don’t have the same immediately addictive rush as the faster material, but are still strong thanks to the band’s highly developed instrumental interplay and sense of melody. In fact, I imagine that even if The Sleepover Disaster were stripped of all their effect pedals and studio tricks, they could still probably make an album worth listening to. Not that I’d want them to….
Picking up right where Loud Is The New Quiet album left off, California’s The Sleepover Disaster are back with this new five-song EP. This time out the band adds some power-pop punch into their shoegaze sound, with opener “Hold My Tongue” and “Grey Eyes” prime examples of their new upbeat approach. If songs like these two bad boys are a sign of things to come, then I’m all for it. Those looking for more traditional shoegaze songs will want to direct their attention towards “Cathedral” and the closing title track, both of which recall those classic Ride/Slowdive guitar epics, but without sounding like a tired rehash – mostly thanks to lead singer Luke Giffens awesomely charged vocal performance (he’s one of the few shoegaze singers that can actually “sing”). Where The Sleepover Disaster goes next is anyone’s guess, but I know I want to hear it soon.
1. Hold My Tongue
3. Grey Eyes
4. Still Life