Team Sleep - Team Sleep

There's one clear indication when a band truly becomes successful, rich, with platitudes, mantle pieces filled with awards and selling out arenas in a matter of minutes and that's the side project. Everyone from Dave Grohl (his Probot album was a metal masterpiece) to Damon Albarn (the cartoon world of Gorillaz) feel the need to express themselves in a different way artistically from their day jobs. To fulfil a need to make a exciting new sound with a fresh set of musicians, guest artists and producers.

Chino Moreno from Deftones has carried on the tradition with his side project band Team Sleep. He's still keeping to his rock roots, but with a new perspective and ideas from the musicians and special guests on the album, it bears little resemblance to the Deftones. "Ataraxi" has a strict industrial sound and a keen sense of the emo scene with a muffled vocal. It's so typical of the genre with lyrical torment and suffering (tell me something I don't know). This wouldn't be too bad if there was a tune amongst all the Bono style wailing and rock guitars and if I missed it then it must be very well hidden. Goths will no doubt enjoy it (well enjoy isn't a word i'd normally use when describing those eternally in black doom merchants) but you know what I mean.

We're in Nickelback territory on the track "BLVD Nights" which as least has a bit of life in it. The thrashing electric guitars surge like a bolt of lightning while the band takes on the mood once very much in vogue by The Smashing Pumpkins. The drums are pummelled at a furious pace and if it had just a semblance of melody I would have loved it even more. "Elizabeth" has strumming guitars, Oasis style drumming and a gentle vocal low in the mix which is 60s psychedelia incarnate. In fact this is surprisingly very much in the mould of vintage Stone Roses with shock horror a summery feel, harmonies and a melody you can gladly sing along to.

"Live From The Stage" has a long meandering two minute intro which sets the mood for the pretension that awaits. The atmospheric shoe gazing noodling is eventually rescued by the obvious yelling in a manner more suitable for a session of primal scream therapy with the guitars screaming out for immediate attention. This could possibly scrape by as an unremarkably b-side, but as an album track you're having a laugh aren't you.

I listened to Team Sleep with an open mind, but it's so predictable and laborious that it didn't endear me any further.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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