Cinema Sleep

Take Me Home EP

Written by: TL on 12/06/2012 11:36:46

I forget if I've ranted about this before, but considering that I was more or less leaning towards forgetting everything about the EP format after an abysmal year for EPs (in my opinion) in 2011, 2012 has turned right back around and showered me with a proper bombardement of worthwhile debut EP's from new bands. One of such is the "Take Me Home" EP by Ohio quintet Cinema Sleep, which is produced by the reknowned Kris Crummett, a man whose stunning catalogue of work has made him a go to guy for upcoming modern rock bands, and whose involvement here should probably make you interested in checking out Cinema Sleep regardless of whether you've heard anything about them before.

On "Take Me Home" EP, Cinema Sleep introduce themselves to the world as a band whose sound fits somewhere between the powerful yet accessible big-rock of bands like Sent By Ravens and Anberlin and the heavier, busier emocore of the likes of Emery. The songs are chorus-oriented and built along progressions and shifts that are easy to predict, follow and get into, and while relatively straight-forward, the material packs a punch that makes Cinema Sleep sound like they're a band on the same level as Sent By Ravens, who in reality are a couple of studio albums ahead of them.

What really makes them a truly interesting proposition however, is that there's more to hear here, than your usual combination of pseudo-heavy riffage, laying the foundations for jumpt to a soaring emotive chorus. Cinema Sleep have that down, but they also spice things up; with some absolutely delicious leads, racing along even when the guitars are not in focus; with a theatrical production that strengthens the immersive quality of the band's soundscape; and with a good understanding for the basics of vocal dynamics, with singer Brady Reis and guitarist/backing singer Trevor Johnson making the most of both their clean and more raw and manly repertoires.

Critical observations are hence easy to forget as you're listening to this highly potent mix, but if I am to make a few it is that Cinema Sleep do come to sound a little ham-fisted down the stretch. It becomes a little like listening to late 90's/early 00's hardrock bands like Breaking Benjamin, Hoobastank or TRUSTcompany, who could really get you going when flexing their collective musical muscles, but who quickly came to sounding a little sappy and cliché when trying to include some sentimental contrast.

I feel like Cinema Sleep run that same risk with the music debuted here on "Take Me Home", and that's the lone pitfall I think these guys need to watch out for. You understand that they want to make an overpowering impression on an early release such as this one, but if they really want to establish themselves and stand the test of time, I think they need to throw a curveball and display some flashes of elegance-over-power thinking here and there. Otherwise they'll become like Sent By Ravens, a band that attracts a decent following based on their power and penchant for catchy songs, but will never reap the highest grade because their stuff can sound a bit obvious and forced in the long run.

Truthfully though, I'm getting ahead of both myself and the band with such considerations, because at this point in their career, any band should be proud to harvest comparisons to Sent By Ravens and Emery, just as Cinema Sleep should be fiercely proud of the job they've done with their style, songwriting and production here on "Take Me Home EP". If you like stuff with both muscle and pathos, this proves that here's a band for you to keep a keen eye on.

Download: The Response, Through This House, In Dreams
For The Fans Of: Sent By Ravens, Emery, Anberlin
Listen: facebook.com/cinemasleep

Release Date 29.05.2012
Self-released

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