At first listen, the latest album from Sleepies seems to be a puzzle that’s hard to dissect. You’ll never know what you’ll get with every track. The band seemingly shapeshifts from synth-heavy beats to industrial rock to post-punk in a moment’s notice. Regular listeners will know for sure that Time V Pleasure is largely different from the band’s past releases.
After subsequent listens however, a pattern starts to emerge. As illustrated in the primary shapes and colors in the album cover, this collection takes post punk and de-constructs it to get to the very basics. This baseline serves as a jumping off point, giving each track the permission to veer off into any direction, opening up a wide range of possibilities while sticking to the core of what makes the genre exciting and expansive.
Opener “Something Better” is stripped down to synths and drum loops with guitars taking a back seat. A huge departure from the Sleepies usual material, this experimental art piece has a surprisingly bright and optimistic character to it. “Ancient Dirt” is a return to form. Filled with raucous grit and pounding in with blistering noise, it pays homage to the early years of punk. This track is most in line with their previous releases, but takes a bit of a leap with better production.
The band shifts again with “Container 8”, this time with a grid-like tapestry of monotonous vocals, static straight-edged riffs and industrial noises. It mimics modern expressionist art in its complex composition using basic forms.
“Sleep V Pleasure” saunters in with jagged distortion and shifts its vibe with every section. A robotic chanting of the line “Time or Pleasure / Feelings feel more fun” is explored in several variations, illustrating how pleasure-seeking endeavors end up losing their meaning. “On Again” doubles down on this theme with its repetition, creating a hypnotic atmosphere that’s surprisingly catchy. Whenever this track comes on I get a sense of vertigo of walking into a spiral of right-angled stairs.
Sleepies stretches out their experiments in Time V Pleasure, and each track lands in a slightly different territory while still maintaining a straight path to its roots. The result is a collection that could pass up as coming from different bands of branching pathways and sonic ideas. The track arrangement also adds to the enigmatic flow of this album as songs are strikingly different from the next, an unconventional approach that adds greatly to its anything-goes character. Time V Pleasure is a fun and interesting listen, I sincerely recommend anyone to dive into its sublime world.