Infinite Sleep - The Sound of the Sea EP
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: August 13, 2012
Stemming from a few local bands, California outfit Infinite Sleep came together without wasting any time. First convening in April, these guys managed to put out their debut EP only four months later, sacrificing nothing in quality. While The Sound of the Sea could be better, it is an excellent effort coming from a new band, and I see big things coming from these guys later.
It took me a couple of songs to really grasp their sound, and I feel like that may be the case for a lot of listeners. These guys throw a lot of what you've heard before together while sprinkling some outside influence in tastefully; they even have a sample at the beginning of their fourth track ("Halo in Hades") with Circa Survive playing in the background. From then on, it was easy to hear their influence on the band's sound, as well as traces of also highly-commendable and road-paving bands like Underoath and Glassjaw (I couldn't help but think that if the They're Only Chasing Safety Underoath still ran about, this is what they would sound like). These influences really help the music stand out and be different from what the rest of the post-hardcore scene is putting out nowadays.
The screams are your average metalcore screams, the kind we've all heard since bands like August Burns Red and As I Lay Dying have been making music, but with a twist. Vocalist Jesse Leandro's range seems to be his secret weapon, as he switches between fried highs and guttural lows often enough to keep it fresh. His other secret are his clean vocals, which are used less than his screams. This in turn allows them to shine through when he does use them, with a smooth, clear tone and range befitting to the music. He rarely disappoints throughout the album, which is always a plus for me.
The music behind the vocals is nothing to overlook, either. Guitarists Randall Woo and Juan Hernandez have a really good idea of what they're doing and what they want to do. There's seldom a time where there isn't a melodic lead hitting you from the left while the rest of the guitars do their thing, which really adds to their idea. Drummer Mike Pereira also does an excellent job of holding everything together, throwing his own flair in here or there. Mind you, there are plenty of cliche chugs and other little things that could turn a listener off, but they're often saved by the cool little mathy parts the band throws in here or the catchy chorus there.
Their lyrics are nothing special, but they're also nothing too cliche or silly. They even get poetic at times, really sticking with the listener if they hear 'em ("Erase me" in the second half of their eponymous album closer). The production is also not top notch, but it isn't bad and definitely doesn't take away from the music. It is really cool for their sound, but could definitely add more to what they're laying down.
Overall, these guys know what they're doing. If they polish themselves off, maybe really establish their sound and work with their influences, they can come back with a really solid follow-up. Definitely worth a listen if you're ever just looking for some new music to once or twice over.