Tag Archives: new music

Sleepwar Releases “Thousand Different Faces” Off of Upcoming EP, ‘When We Were’

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Phoenix based, Indie Rock band Sleepwar has released the Official Music Video for their single, “Thousand Different Faces.” Originally premiered on Paste Magazine, “Thousand Different Faces” is the first single off of the band’s upcoming debut EP, When We Were, and is available for FREE download.

Hailing from the desert expanse of Phoenix, Arizona, indie rock band Sleepwar pushes indie rock to another level by combining new wave and synth-pop influence, with lyrics speaking to addiction, recovery, and the inherent struggles of modern life. Sleepwar is led by Roger Willis (vocals) with Tim Woodbridge (producer, keys), James Allen (bass), Mark Pfister (guitar), and Brendan McGuinness (drums).

Utilizing lush synthesizer soundscapes, Sleepwar produces a unique sound that is both familiar and completely original. Fans of the five-piece rock outfit have likened their music to that of Tame Impalathe KillersColdplayImagine Dragons, and Local Natives.

Sleepwar’s self-released initial EP, When We Were, due for an early 2018 release, was recorded, mixed, and produced by Cory Spotts (Job For A CowboyThe MaineBless the FallGreeley Estates) at BLUElight Audio Media in Phoenix, AZ.

When We Were EP cover - Sleepwar

Sleepwar was formed in 2015 when seasoned musician Roger Willis (Something Left To LearnNamesakeGoodbye Tomorrow) sought a new project focused on songwriting and collaborated with aspiring producer Tim Woodbridge, who had been composing with vocal placement in mind. Willis shared their rudimentary recordings to longtime friend James Allen, who immediately loved the new sound.

Allen joined Sleepwar as bassist and co-lyricist, where his former struggles with addiction and drug abuse became the foundation for early songs like “The Jaywalker.” Though Allen’s words drew from his personal demons, the lyrics would resonate with Willis and Woodbridge who had experienced both personal and familial alcohol and drug addiction. While the founding members of Willis, Woodbridge and Allen would remain constant, the band’s evolution from garage to indie rock new wave brought to the lineup several talented musicians, eventually finding balance with current drummer Brendan McGuinness and guitarist Mark Pfister.

Band Links

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  SoundCloud

REVIEW: Say Anything’s New Album “I Don’t Think It Is”

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Artist: Say Anything
Album: I Don’t Think It Is
Release Date: February 5, 2016

Like every Say Anything album, “I Don’t Think It Is” lays it’s cards on the table from the first note of the raucous intro “Give A Damn”, and sets the tone for a strong outing that is at once a return to form and a massive leap in sheer willingness to push their songs beyond any easily categorizable structure. Lyrically, the song showcases Max Bemis’ traditional vitriol toward both himself and his critics. However, the song structurally revolves around a much more lo-fi garage rock vibe than has ben shown in any previous Say Anything album. This burst of high energy post-punk stems directly from the influence of members from bands such as The Blood Brothers, At The Drive-In, and Mutemath; as they each provide their own unique take on the tried and true Say Anything formula. Since the release of “In Defense Of The Genre”, Say Anything as a band has evolved into a collective of sorts with Max Bemis at the helm. Whether through a slew of special guest features (“In Defense Of The Genre”) or a bold decision to release an album without any guitarist (“Hebrews”), Bemis’ creativity and unhinged passion always shine brightest when he surrounds himself with his peers and idols.

Perhaps the most impressive feat this album manages to pull off is a return to the bold sassiness, hilarity, and angst that characterized the early albums without coming across as an awkward old man trying to rekindle the sound of his youth. Above all, there is a refreshing burst of anger on this release that could only be created by an artist who simply does not give a damn what critics, fans, or anyone other than himself thinks about the songs he has crafted. Perhaps this mindset is what allowed for the much talked about collaboration with Kanye West wherein Bemis and West sat down and listened to one another’s at-the-time unreleased albums together and each other.

As with all things Say Anything, there really is no way to truly ever separate truth from facetiousness unless you were actually present for any of the events, but it is very difficult not to notice parallels between the two artists. “Goshua” in particular sounds like an indie B-Side of the “Yeezus” album, and is the moment the album became a masterpiece. “We’re divided by a wavering expression. And I drink too much to cut the tension. You think I live for attention? Man, look what I do for a pension.” is a verse that could have just as easily shown up during “Black Skinhead”, and shows a bravado noticeably missing from the previous two albums. Max Bemis is confronting his own creativity with every line and through doing so manages to save Say Anything by simply returning to what he does best, brutally and comedically self-deprecating his own shortcomings and successes. In short, Say Anything managed to succeed where “Life Of Pablo” fell short.

A surprise release full of bravado and grandeur that actually delivered on the self-congratulatory hype of it it’s creator.

Check out our review and photos of Say Anything’s concert!
REVIEW: Say Anything Brings It to Tempe 4-22-16

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