Sound — 7
Like numerous other art-rock/experimental rock acts (The Sound of Animals Fighting, Animal Collective), Team Sleep cannot be said to gave a single sound. Rather, they have numerous different faces, drawing from a vast array of influences ranging from ambient music and minimalist to straight-up alternative rock and even hip-hop. This band is difficult to classify into a single genre; their sound is roo concrete to be dream pop, too diverse to be post-rock, and too mature to fit into the current indie rock scene. Their sound is an amalgam of different genres to have emerged from the alternative rock umbrella, sometimes relying on gentle shoegazer-style guitar arangements, other times turning to fragmented minimalism, and sometimes crafting solid, accessible pop songs. A far cry from Chino Moreno's nu-metal dayjob, the Deftones, Team Sleep is a group which shows the same concern for texture and ambience, but which refrains from the heavy riffing and power chords that are associated with the Deftones. Team Sleep's sheer versatility is both it's strength and it's weakness, as it prevents them from creating something as concise and cohesive as material by similar bands.
Lyrics — 10
It's difficult to discuss the lyrical and vocal aspects of this album, as more than one singer is involved and more than one style is used. For the most part, Team Sleep's lyrics are typical Chino Moreno: abstract but concise, emotive, but never corny or cliche. Lyrically and vocally, Team Sleep seems to be there to give Moreno a chance to wander down musical avenues that, until Saturday Night Wrist, he was unable to explore with the Deftones. Tracks which do not feature Moreno on vocals tend to feel somewhat detached from the main body of sound and often take away from the unity this album could potentially have featured.
Overall Impression — 7
This release isn't so much a studio album as it is a compilation: it is a collection of songs that were written over a long period of time and of remastered versions of old tracks. This is an album with many radically different highlights, from the soft, shoegaze-inspired pop of "Ever" and "Your Skull Is Red" to the hypnotic minimalism of "Tomb Of Liegia" and the strange hip-hop inspired "King Diamond". It isn't so much the case that this album is bad; rather, it's simply that it isn't an album. Seen as a compilation or a collective, Team Sleep's self-titled album is a quality release, exploring different genres and experimenting with different techniques. With 14 tracks and a total length of just under 55 minutes, this is definitely an album that could use a little tightening up. Any material that this band releases in the future could benefit from a more selective editing process. This is a band that has created it's own unique take on the post-rock and general experimental genres, but whose inexperience with the genres resulted in a slightly confused end product.