The Sleeping is one of those bands that makes everything sound so good that once their music finds it’s way to your ears, you find yourself instantaneously looking up their tour dates to see when they hit your city next. This is big music, with big vocals, that hits you dead on. The Sleeping’s latest effort Questions And Answers is a fantastic example of the better up and coming bands that are starting to make their break. If you are looking for a band that makes excellent use of their musical gifts, this album is for you. It is nearly impossible to merely write this band off as another pop act. Anyone that is able to state this with an honest face has not checked these guys out and allowed themselves to actually sit down and enjoy this release. It is impossible to focus on anything besides the music, it grabs and holds you that promptly. As I try to review the album, I fumble over trying to highlight my favorite musician in the band. I am finding this tough not because there isn’t one that stands out, but because Cameron, Salvatore, Doug and Joseph come together to make one miraculous super group of talent. Chock full of anthems and perfectly executed break downs, Questions And Answers was created to make you move, and The Sleeping have once again completed what they set out to do. This album needs to be played loud. Open up your windows, and let this magnificent release from the four boys of New York give you chills.
Music that is able to change itself and evolve with progression always get more points in my book. My favorite part about Questions And Answers is the fact that with the succession of the album you find a lot of variation in the sound. As the listener takes on this album it is clear to see how The Sleeping were able to make the differences heard and felt through out the album -- they are simply that good at playing music. The technical guitar work is indescribable, I am in love with it. Doug’s vocals are emotional, raspy and I thoroughly enjoy feeling the rustiness in his vocals as he belts his lyrics. There is no “whiney” sound to his singing. The bass work, thanks to Salvatore, is vicious and pounding in sound, this is adding the much needed aggression to each of the songs. The percussion is a fantastic compliment to everything and makes this band complete. Like I previously stated, every member of this band excels and reaches new heights as the listener moves from song to song. The Sleeping also makes great use of keyboards and you will find yourself picking up on the atmospheric sounds through out the album.
Questions And Answers open extremely powerful with “Don’t Hold Back”. I have to admit that I have not heard an album in a very long time that has opened so well. This is the perfect first step into everything that only gets better and better as you continually listen. In the same fashion of this release, “Don’t Hold Back” builds up, continually getting better and finally falls into one of the best break downs found on Questions And Answers. The music is so remarkable that this is a song that commands to be heard more then once. The lyrics are positive and speaks about achieving your dreams and running with it. One of the most emotional songs on the album is “Heart Beatz”, which touches on the horrible accident that Bayside encountered. They wrecked their van and drummer John “Beatz” Houlihan passed away as a result of the terrible tragedy. The guitar work is very eerie and take full force of the song. On of my favorite tracks off the album “The Big Breakdown-Day 3(The Escape)” is the perfect example of how the album evolves and changes sound with each track. It opens up with strapping jazz influenced guitar work and the trademarked bass. Questions And Answers is a presentation of many different music aspects. If you are looking for prevailing vocals, emotional lyrics, crushing music, and comforting slower melodies, The Sleeping have created your album of the year.
No stranger to hard work, it is more then unambiguous that The Sleeping has crafted an album that literally took blood and tears to create. This is the anthem for achieving your dreams, losing your best friend to tragedy, gnashing your teeth with the status of your relationships, and drinking to much to drown the thoughts of everything that pisses you off. Questions And Answers was not written for you to sulk, please do not confuse them for the “heart on sleeve” types. The Sleeping wrote this album for you to get up and sing along and lose yourself at their shows. You can’t sit when you see these guys live, you run to the front and jump over each other to scream the lyrics as if these songs were written about your life.
The first album was a great introduction to this band...it was a strong release but it was flawed in areas. This album has sucked me in. It is easily, for me, the most addicting album of the year. I listen to it constantly. Something about Doug's voice is just so unique and great.