Title - Crisis Actor
Artist - Sandman Sleeps
Releasing a debut album must be nerve wracking, as those songs are the band’s first and best shot to tell the world who they are as artists. And Floridian indie/alternative outfit Sandman Sleeps is coming very strongly out of the gate with Crisis Actor.
In addition to the delightfully edgy title, Crisis Actor is the culmination of many years’ worth of preparation, with the band having been begun in the earlier 2000’s by lead vocalist Christina Peck and her sister, Alexis (bass). The onboarding of Zack Jones (guitar) and Karsten Andersen (drums) in 2019 rejuvenated the band, and this album is the glorious result.
7. Five Bell Alarm
8. Portrait of Jennie
9. Summer Rain
10. Rare Cloud
From the outset, Sandman Sleeps grabs hold of the listener and does not let go, with shredding baselines and reverb guitars on “Soaked.” The rhythm section are the true stars of the band, with Alexis and Karsten pushing everything forward with the perfect momentum.
Christina’s vocals are fragile, but not breathy; lovely, but occasionally overwhelmed by the music of her bandmates. And on the subject of vocals, Christina gives off vibes reminiscent of Tori Amos, but built to really soar. To that end, “Opaque” is the strongest use of Christina’s voice.
Songs like “Feet” feel like they could be featured on the soundtrack to the greatest skateboard game you’ve never played, while “Induced” jams at a slower pace, showcasing the more mellow end of the band’s range, primarily through the fuzzy sounds of Zack’s guitar. Of the lot, “Five Alarm Bell” takes the prize for Best Track.
Even though Crisis Actor is the debut album by Sandman Sleeps, their sound is one that cannot be constrained to a record only — it needs to be experienced. I eagerly await their first concert headline concert tour, and the success that will surely be theirs if any of their future efforts are half as good as this one.
Review by: Ashley J. Cicotte
Crisis Actor by Sandman Sleeps is available on all major music streaming platforms.
Sandman Sleeps @ Facebook
Sandman Sleeps @ Bandcamp