The Sleepover Disaster
Loud Is The New Quiet (2004, self-released)
Shoegaze, I’ll admit, is my weakness, so obviously whenever I’m recommended something described as ‘shoegaze’ or even ‘dream pop’, I typically have higher expectations than I probably should. Often times I am disappointed, as it’s either a blatant rip off, or there is only a hint of late 80’s/early 90’s genre.
Enter The Sleepover Disaster, and their latest foray into the genre Loud Is The New Quiet. Upon seeing the title I was certainly skeptical as it’s not entirely the most original album title (Kings of Convenience’s 2001 release Quiet Is The New Loud first comes to mind). The album opener ‘Comet’ has a very early Ride and Adorable (the more rock oriented side of shoegaze) feel to it, and is dominant throughout the entire record.
The vocals, which give hints of Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Mark Gardener (Ride), Rob Dickinson (Catherine Wheel), and at times Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), are not always buried under layers of guitars, which is often the case with many shoegaze bands. Hushed singing is often mixed in well with reverb and delay drenched guitars often during a spaced out interlude. It is usually during the chorus that the vocals come into the forefront.
The band relies heavily on the quiet loud dynamic, laying down spacey passages before a distortion soaked chorus, which works, but at times can become predictable. Fans of early Ride, early Catherine Wheel and Adorable should find much to like here. Soaring melodies and walls of effects-laden guitars are found throughout the record, with plenty of hooks, and a strong vocal performance that isn’t afraid to come out of the mix from time to time. While derivative (as my colleague put it), the Sleepover Disaster is more than proficient in creating what many of today’s shoegaze bands are attempting to reproduce.