Deep Sleep – Turn Me Off

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews

Deep Sleep

Turn Me Off - Grave Mistake

When you hear thirteen minutes of music across ten tracks, you just know each song is going to be quick and to the point.  If that’s the case, there’s probably also a good chance said album takes a nod from 80’s hardcore punk legends like Black Flag or Bad Brains.  But today people are more accustomed to tracks carrying them through the thirty-minute mark, so if you’re going to take the fast and furious route, you better have something worth selling.

I’ll admit, in the case of Baltimore punks Deep Sleep and their latest effort, Turn Me Off, the sales pitch took a while to sink in, but after putting in due time, I’ve come to appreciate their outright passion.  The root of my initial skepticism rested in the first the very disjointed opener, “Live Forever.”  The minute and two second track wastes little time assaulting listeners, tearing up the eardrums of anyone who might favour the clean melody of Hostage Calm over the tattered ripcords of Society’s Parasites.  Interestingly, the band also finds some inspiration in the chord selections of The Descendents with some rather unconventional chord progressions.  The influence makes itself most known during longer tracks, especially like that of “Another Me” where the generous time allotment allows the oddly fluctuating crescendos to cement in memory.

That’s not to say that all sub-minute songs lack personality.  Even the shortest ones, like “Be With You” have their own aggressive charm.  “Destroy Everything” feeds off its rampant speed, matching the blood boiling aggression of lines like “I want to kill I want to burn/Won’t cry now cause I’ve never learned/I want to do everything/I want my heart to explode.”  It’s worth pointing out though, that many tracks are short for a reason, feeding off a redundant energy.  Take “Head Spins” for instance.  Clocking in at 1:06, the song features Tony Pence boisterously barking the track’s title against a whirlwind of speedy chords for the better part of its runtime.  It’s repetitive and sounds like most of the other tracks on the album.

Turn Me Off is a case of energy over distinction – passion favoured over repetition.  In the end I’m torn, and I can’t quite move past a nagging part of me that wishes the band could challenge themselves to expand within the sound they so obviously are made for.  I realize this review goes against the grain, but sincerely believe that Deep Sleep has much more to offer.