Album of the Week: Team Sleep 'Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 4'
Wed, 15 Jul 2015 15:12:26
Alternative trailblazers craft a live record in upstate New York that you won't be able to put down.
Team Sleep take Album of the Week with Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 4—out now via Team Sleep and Woodstock Sessions. Recorded live at Applehead Recording Studio in Woodstock, NY, the Sacramento alternative quintet—Chino Moreno [vocals, guitar], Todd Wilkinson [guitar], Rick Verrett [guitar/keys], CrookOne [keys, turntables, samples], Chuck Doom [bass], and Gil Sharone [drums]—take a tour through their history with some hyper charged and always hypnotic performances. Five songs are live renditions of music from their 2005 self-titled debut, while "Death By Plane" floated around on the internet. "Formant" was out there in an earlier version, but we also get the addition of two enchanting pieces "No" and "O.P." These songs receive a new life, spark, and energy.
It could be the rustic setting, but there's an organic and earthy vitality to opener "Your Skull Is Red." Moreno's voice sounds downright heavenly, giving a glimpse at yet another side of him beyond what we get in Deftones, Palms, and ††† (Crosses). The ethereal guitars entwine into a warm and wondrous sonic blanket weaved by the frontman and Wilkinson. Doom and Sharone expand the sound further injecting their own tight and taut bombast that teems with a different energy. Crook deepens the soundscapes at every turn with his flourishes of cinematic electronics.
The instrumental "Formant" tempers a melodic hum with a dark flow that instantly transfixes. The instrumentals stand out as a highlight, making the album flow as one piece. There's an extra heavy swell fueling "Ever (Foreign Flag)," while the dual passage of "No" and "O.P." showcases the group's musical marvel with a fascinating combination of pounding drums and six-string palette that's as powerful as it is poetic.