Well, we finally did it. Sleep Crimes now has some actual, bonafide studio recordings to share for your listening pleasure. It was my first time doing any sort of studio recording, and I’d say things went a lot better than I expected them to. We did tracking at Phoenix Down Recording Studios in Somerville, MA. Mixing and mastering was done by our buddy Kevin Carafa – a talented audio engineer based out of Portland, OR.
Track by Track
Sleep Crimes/Even Cows Sing the Moos (medley)
I didn’t really plan on having us write an eponymous track early on – or at all – but somehow the four of us managed to agree on letting this be the one. When we play it live Jasmine typically starts off with a much flashier and elongated drum solo, but for the recording she truncated it. After all, we’re not trying to recreate “Moby Dick” here for a studio cut. When the opening chord comes crashing down we aimed to have this wall of sound effect that kind of hits you over the head. From there it’s a death march on the snare and bass as the guitar cuts across like a chain saw. In the midst of battle, Beth’s vocals come in floating across.
Between the sustained fuzz and the pick scrapes, I let the rhythm section keep driving things forward and Beth’s voice fill in the empty space. On the guitar solo I try to channel my inner-Josh Homme. The whole thing ends on a cliff hanger, which allows us to transition into one of our faster tracks.
Even Cows Sing the Moos
To start the this one off we tease on the uncertainty of the final chord from the previous track. I really wanted us to write a song that was an homage to early Gossip songs, which Bethany nailed lyrically but of course the rest of us had to go and overcomplicate things. The original version of this song was played much slower and had more of a blues/rockabilly feel to it. To keep it from falling into oblivion, and out of the setlist forever, I suggested we should speed it up and make it more aggressive like The Misfits. The whole guitar/drums face off was done out of sheer bravado. I like to think of it as our nice way of flipping the bird to anyone out there who still thought this was a gimmicky girl band.
I Pledge My Love (to Satan)
Bethany and I are both fans of The Shangri-La’s and cheesy 60’s girl group ballads. We wanted to modernize the teen car crash song for the 2010’s. Apparently the Sleep Crimes version of modernization means “make the song about kids worshiping the devil!” (isn’t that the core of rock n’ roll?). It might have been unintentional, but there’s also a hint of Joe Cocker in there. I don’t consider this song to be particularly unique in anyway shape or form, but it’s one that always seems to stick with people who see us play it live and gets them singing along. It’s tough to disagree with your fans when they find something of yours they like, so we’ll keep playing it until we’re 100% sick of it. Plus it’s slow and gives us a chance to chill out between the rest of the madness.
This was one of our first original songs that we wrote together and it was, until recently, our standard set opener. It’s the “surf” part of surf doom and probably the most I’ve ever used a whammy bar. We put The Ventures, Jefferson Airplane, and Bikini Kill into a blender and came up with this strange, yet tasty concoction. It’s a narrative about wondering what life is like after nuclear warfare when you’re on an acid trip – the only things you think will be around are Cher and cockroaches: “Do you believe in life after nuclear holocaust?” On the intro there’s a lot of John Entwistle-like melodic bass lines going on that Matt pulls off quite effortlessly. The guitar solo is something of a blatant Ten Years After rip off. Jasmine’s fills toward the end do this incredible build up to the final chorus. It’s as fun to play as it is to listen to. That’s sort of an underlying mission of Sleep Crimes – making loud rock music fun again.
If you like what you hear, you can download the tracks over on bandcamp. Or send us a note at band[at]sleepcrimes.com.
Photos Courtesy of Molly Richard