Is the fan-funded new While She Sleeps record any good? Well, duh


Kerrang! (UK) - - Contents - PAUL TRAVERS

You Are We is an im­por­tant al­bum, and not just in terms of While She Sleeps’ ca­reer. It does rep­re­sent the vi­tal next step for the Brit metal slug­gers, but this fan-funded, self-re­leased third al­bum is also an in­te­gral look at just what can be achieved with your own el­bow grease and sweat.

Sleeps are not the first band to use the fan­funded model, of course, but they are one of the few to have done so hav­ing jumped vol­un­tar­ily from a ma­jor-la­bel plat­form.they’ve also taken the DIY ethic quite lit­er­ally, putting their own record­ing stu­dio, re­hearsal room and gen­eral band HQ to­gether with their own hands. Pro­ducer Carl Bown is the one out­side in­flu­ence, but the band con­sider him to be a sixth mem­ber any­way, and the al­bum re­mains the prod­uct of a sin­gu­lar vi­sion.

With You Are We,while She Sleeps will stand or fall en­tirely on their own ef­forts, but they’re ab­so­lutely not play­ing safe here. It’s not set to be as po­lar­is­ing as, say,the Here And Now by Ar­chi­tects, and you won’t be mis­tak­ing them for Good Char­lotte any time soon, but it does see the band tak­ing sev­eral mighty strides away from the beaten path.

on the fa­mil­iar front, there are the usual huge an­themic WSS sing-alongs, aug­mented in places by gang vo­cals recorded by the fans them­selves as part of the Pledge cam­paign. Gui­tarists Mat Welsh and Sean Long have also con­trib­uted a lot more to the vo­cal side of things, re­sult­ing in cleaner lines and a stronger melodic pres­ence.

That’s not to say the al­bum lacks ag­gres­sion or im­pact. re­volt is as sting­ing and vi­cious as any­thing on 2015’s Brain­washed or 2012 de­but This Is The Six. Hur­ri­cane is ap­pro­pri­ately ti­tled, and the jagged riffs and front­man Loz Tay­lor’s abra­sive scream­ing pro­vide the bedrock for most of these songs. But on top of this, the band have gone wher­ever they fancy – there’s a more ad­ven­tur­ous ebb and flow with the dy­nam­ics and, where they might have pre­vi­ously thrown a stan­dard break­down into a song like Wide Awake, they’re just as likely to throw out a breezy, progtinged pas­sage now.

It’s an al­bum that bris­tles with hooks, crack­les with power and al­most over­flows with pas­sion. It also shows ev­ery other band out there what’s pos­si­ble with the right at­ti­tude and spirit of in­de­pen­dence. DOWN­LOAD: Wide Awake, re­volt. FOR FANS OF: Ar­chi­tects, Bury To­mor­row.

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