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Unpleasant Companion


Todd Kaden - vocals & guitar
Jon Dean - guitar
Cory Snyder - bass & vocals
Ian James - Drums, Percussion


We are going to travel north on I-77 for a little bit then take a right on to 76 for this next band. Coming from Youngstown, Oh, which is just about an hour or so from us, Asleep is sure to wake you up. They are described as having a raw and powerful sound which translates to a great live show. Since late 2006 the guys have played over 300 shows including SXSW 2010 and 2011. They have released two previous albums which have received great reviews and sold over 10,000 physical copies. The new album titled, Unpleasant Companion, offers up 8 tracks and gets going with “Hip To Deaf.” The track gets going with a nice little intro that tries to set the mood. The vocals come strolling in with an odd style that makes you stay put. The track sounds like one solid mass and is so strange sounding that you can’t help but like it. The drums hit hard through most of the track while the guitars get some of the spotlight as they flair-up from time to time. I do have so say though that after a few times of listening to the track it gets a bit old. “Drama Junkie” offers up some nice music that you can really get into, but a good portion of the vocals are weird and hard to get into. All they do is say a word or two then stop. This doesn’t allow the track to flow very well as it makes it very choppy. The sections where the vocals actually say more in a row they sound a lot better. “Deserted” is a slower tune that seems to have even more emphasis on the vocals than the others did. The drums also get into the act in a big way as they hammer home huge hits during some sections while the guitars just float along most of the time. Other than the drums the track seems a bit dry and boring. “Delirium Tremens” keeps the album slow with a very weird sounding tune. Musically they have whining guitars and simple drums that glide along. The vocals are relatively low sounding with some emotion in them. They also have a whining sound to them. The track just doesn’t strike a nerve. “Must’ve Been” stays in a very low key like they are trying to sneak up on you. They try, but they never let the big bellow out to scare you. The most exciting thing that they do it let the music flair-up for a little bit which really doesn’t do anything except not allow you to hear the vocals pretty much at all. The ending of the track is very annoying and you just want it to end. “Big Sister” sees them trying to add in some effects which don't make it off the ground. The vocals stay low, yet again and are hard to hear while the music is much of the same as it has been. There are mini flair-ups, but they are not enough for you to keep coming back, at least very often. If it happen to come on you wouldn’t be hitting the skip button, but you also wouldn’t be skipping forward to find it. It’s a track that if it’s there fine, it not that’s cool too. “Static Mirrors” gets going on a good note, but yet again you can barely hear the vocals. The music is something that you can easily get into. That is until the middle of the track where they do something that sounds, well terrible. It kind of hurts your ears. It’s like they struck there last cords, laid down the instruments and left them on. It is not a pretty sound and if you have this turned up a good amount you might blow your ears out. “Magik Numbers” closes out the album with a tune that you can actually hear the vocals well. It begins as a simple track before they bring in the electric guitar in the background. Its okay, but I don't see it doing much. Overall the album is very strange. Most of the time you can’t hear the vocals very well and they just lack that “listen to me” presents. The guitars flair-up from time to time, but really doesn’t do much. The drums I think are the best item on the track. They really drive the track and shine among the other elements.  I don't see this album getting off the ground very much. Live wise these tracks could be killer, but sitting at home or in the car the songs just lack that interesting factor. They don't have enough for you to keep coming back or just flat out repeating tracks. More time on writing and arranging is needed for Asleep before they can take their careers to the next level.


Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Big Sister


Track List:

  1. Hip To Deaf
  2. Drama Junkie
  3. Deserted
  4. Delirium Tremens
  5. Must’ve Been
  6. Big Sister
  7. Static Mirrors
  8. Magik Numbers

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