REVIEW: Sleepersound ‘In Media Res’: Mystical, Mathematical, and Mesmerizing

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Some rock music really evokes infinity. This can be the immortal poetic anthems of Television, or the looped existential blues of Radiohead. It’s become less often that newer bands can tap into that spiritual energy of longing and loss, using their guitars to talk to gods. But the Midwestern band SleeperSound are able to do it just as mightily on their new LP In Media Res.

A band which features live video collaborator and DJ Stephen Anderson, the cinematic lyrics of vocalist/guitarist/keyboard player David D’Antonio match the muscle of his group, featuring Kenny Buesing (organ, guitars), Mike Campise (bass), and Dan Niedziejko (drums). SleeperSound create music as universally explorative as the travel footage Anderson brings in to help evoke the expansiveness of the audio-visual collaboration. This makes SleeperSound a must-see live band, but like Pink Floyd, an album as mystical, mathematical, and mesmerizing as In Media Res can’t be denied.

SleeperSound are from Milwaukee, Chicago and other places nearby, merging post-rock with space rock, with just a dash or two of Noir folk. It sounds like dream engineers designing someplace we can go when the suffocating death wish of American politicians scheme to take over our daily dreams.

According to the bio materials, the songs “Give to Time,” “Passengers,” “Gravity Well,” “Terminals,” “Slow Moon,” and “Error Tape” spread over the two sides of the vinyl release all focus on the journey from life into death. “An exploration behind the veil of existence and into the realm of our place in the larger mechanism,” they say. 

In Media Res was intimately and lovingly created in drummer Dan’s studio, Indian Not the Arrow, and is the band’s first full album (after a three-song introductory EP). Likeminded sound guru and master audio maven Kramer (Bongwater, New York Gong) was brought on to finish the record with his delectably amorphous style of sound-capturing. It’s a match made far from a scanner darkly, in the haunted realms of musical eternity.