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Sleep Token - 'Two' EP Review


1. Calcutta

2. Nazareth

3. Jericho

When a band states that they are the mortal representatives of an ancient deity, you can be forgiven for alarm bells ringing. Add in the fact that Sleep Token are led by Vessel, who encountered the deity Sleep in a dream and it’s tempting to dismiss them as some sort of Drummond/Cauty wannabes without the obvious archness. Sprinkle on top the photo accompanying the release looks a little like a cross between a member of Anonymous and The Crow. Yep! So you can probably tell how enthusiastic I was to sit down and listen to their current EP Two.

Ye cannae bend the laws of cynicism Cap’n….except, this time, you can. 'Two' comprises' Calcutta', 'Nazareth' and 'Jericho' and they are, frankly, astonishingly good. Listening to this EP takes me back to my youth, ferreting through the £1 CD singles in Volume and Our Price. That feeling of knowing you’ve uncovered a gem, discovered something special…'Two' gives me that feeling again. 'Two' is their second release and on the strength of this, I’ve bought the first EP just to check if this is for real or a lucky strike. Reader…it’s for real!

Vessel possesses a great voice, with a range that reminds me of David McAlmont and the music ranges from dark and moody to Hard Rock interspersed with a gloriously expansive aural joy that can put you in mind of…dare I say it…Coldplay. Don’t get me wrong - Coldplay are, to me, smugness personified but I have to admit they have produced some glorious tunes that you just want to experience alongside a kick ass light show…and so have Sleep Token.

As you can tell from the opening of this review, I was a little worried they would be all style over substance but they clearly have an ear for what works and have crafted these songs into brilliantly layered semi-epics. You can hear the time and the effort spent in the studio and it’s really refreshing. They are just starting to put on live shows and, if they’ve put half the thought and effort into the live show as they have these recordings, then they are going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Criticisms? If I’m being ultra picky, 'Calcutta' should fade out at about 5:25 and the line about tasting like new flesh in 'Jericho' jars as a little clichéd but that’s about it really.

They have me intrigued and excited…if they tell me they drive an ice cream van, then I’ll be converted.

Review - Chris Watson

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