Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Less an Object
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
The seminal San Francisco punk band the Sleepers recorded an EP, single, and LP between 1978 and 1980 before imploding during its only tour. Former members moved on to such influential post-punk outfits as Flipper, Tuxedom... more »
The seminal San Francisco punk band the Sleepers recorded an EP, single, and LP between 1978 and 1980 before imploding during its only tour. Former members moved on to such influential post-punk outfits as Flipper, Tuxedomoon, the Toiling Midgets, and American Music Club, significantly shaping a proudly pathetic sub-genre of underground rock. Collectors of hard-to-find official recordings and live bootleg tapes maintained the Sleepers' recorded legacy, but their work has long been unavailable to the general public. The Less an Object rectifies the situation with a disc that includes everything the group ever released plus a few previously unavailable bonus tracks. The group's lead vocalist, Ricky Williams, a longtime substance abuser who also suffered from chronic asthma, died in 1992. The Less an Object presents the case that the shamanistic frontman (who later worked with Flipper and the Toiling Midgets) was one of early American punk's pivotal (albeit infrequently acknowledged) talents. --Steven Stolder
The Sound of The Unconscious: The Great Lost Sleepers
Nicholas S. Blakey | Jamaica Plain, MA USA | 08/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with Tuxedomoon, Crime, and the Wounds, the Sleepers were perhaps the very best and brightest of the San Francisco punk scene of the late 1970's/early 1980's, much of which drifted in and out of art as well as rock, mixing the two together to form some of the very best American music ever made. This compilation covers nearly everything the band released along with some bonus unreleased tracks that are as good as anything the band ever put out. The earliest tracks (from 1978) are art/punk, featuring Ricky Williams' snarling operatic vocals and Michael Belfer's awesome guitar work, which alternates straight ahead power chords with gorgeous lead lines, all layered with various effects. The guitar solo in "She's Fun" is particularly biting: it runs simultaneously forward and backwards. The next two tracks ("Mirror" and the incredible "Theory") come from a 1980 single, sounding very sparse with a more relaxed and open feel. "Mirror" features some guest saxophone work from Steve Brown of Tuxedomoon, and both tracks use simple drum machine beats instead of a human drummer. The rest of the CD is made up of their 1981 LP "PAINLESS NIGHTS" along with some outtakes from the same period. This version of the band had Belfer dualing/dueling with Mike White on guitars (best exemplified on the wonderously thick instrumental "Zenith"), and the results are consistently excellent. The band weaves pretty but hard waves around Williams' alternately anguished and gnashing words and vocalisings, and the tracks which display this best ("Forever", "Walk Away", "The Mind", and a reworked "Theory") are completely original in their content and execution. A band highly reccomended to fans of Joy Division, The Sisters of Mercy, or Crispy Ambulance, the Sleepers simply have to be heard to be believed. Some history: Ricky Williams was the first drummer of Crime and later sang for the Toiling Midgets. Michael Belfer also played guitar in Tuxedomoon and much later did the same for Black Lab. First drummer Tim Mooney was also later in Toiling Midgets and eventually joined American Music Club."
What a Time (From someone who was there)!!!!
Nicholas S. Blakey | 05/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is not so much of a review as it is a big thanks to all involved with getting this collection out. The Sleepers were an awesome band on the nights when we were on our game. I am somewhat biased, for obvious reasons, but The Sleepers were an extraordinary band in an extraordinary scene at an extraordinary time. Unfortunately, music fans of this day and age have no concept of what a scene like the Bay Area was like in the late 70's. With fewer and fewer live venues for bands to play and for fans to hear good contemporary music in the U.S. these days, I was just glad to be out and about and contributing to a scene like that in my musical career. Thanks, Nick Blakey, for the kind words and I hope everyone enjoys this set. Long live the memory of the Sleepers."
Man, what a collection!
nikita88 | point of entry, venus | 08/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For 20 years I'd carefully take my scratched up sleepers ep out and make everyone I knew listen to it. It remains one of my most cherished records, and the later stuff (zenith single, painless nights lp) also ended up being considered gold in this house- all of which is collected on this incredible collection. To be honest, I couldn't believe this was even done- it seemed too good to be true. I can't tell y'all how many hours I'd marvel about this band and Ricky Williams's vocals to another great vocalist- Rik L Rik- whenever he'd break into "She's fun" with one of his many bands. ~sigh~ great stuff that takes us all back to a special place...."