This is music for the hot morning shower after you’ve been up too late, up to no good. This is music for the pre-game pump up or the post-break up meltdown. Basically, emotions had better be running high or in immediate need of amplification.
I do most of my music listening in gigantic headphones as I frantically rush from train to train, perpetually late for my overbooked life, or playing on repeat on the lowest volume setting of my Macbook in a futile effort to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. This is not music for those times.
Ironically, Oh, Sleeper makes a point to keep you awake while you listen. Their songs abound with the requisite double bass and guitars strumming faster than a field mouse’s heartbeat. It’s accessible, solid hardcore with a few pensively beautiful moments characteristic of the genre. There is a high-strung emotionality to hardcore, and sometimes those emotions are displayed acoustically and with soaring vocals.
But only for a second. They’ve still got a reputation to keep.
The lyrics are for the most part indiscernible, but that’s altogether unimportant. Children of Fire is really about the package. The first time they allow their message to be truly understood happens in “Means to Believe” and just so you’re not unpleasantly surprised, this song is about Jesus. Here’s another secret – they all are.
Nothing against religion or religion oriented things, I just have to wonder if making a point to focus on a single topic is ever a good thing for art. It would be like Weezer only penning lyrics about feeling like outcasts, or Lil’ Wayne only rapping about women and marijuana – oh wait…
I guess if it works for other people it can work for Oh, Sleeper.
“In the Wake of Pigs” is the album’s catchiest three minutes, mostly due to the pleasing attempts at harmonies in the hook. The rest is not bad, suitable for road tripping, but largely forgettable. There will be people who can’t get enough, but I imagine most of us won’t be lamenting on how “The Marriage of Steel and Skin” is constantly stuck in our heads.
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