Sleep Till North
Musical insanity with method to its madness
By Simon McCormack
It’s not that prog-rock outfit Sleep Till North doesn’t have a plan. It’s that deviating from that plan is a necessity for each of the band’s four members.
“Every song starts off with a structured riff and structured progression,” explains bassist Artha Meadors. “Then we let each individual embellish it so that everyone can do what they want within the context of the song. We try to never play the same song the same way twice.” The result of this process is a pseudo-chaotic amalgamation of guitar-driven ferocity, intricate bass grooves and technical but savage drumming that is accented by Reva Nenes’ high-pitched, forceful vocals.
“Make Your Metal” starts with an abrasive guitar riff that is soon joined by an explosion of drums and symbols but later fades to a more serene, guitar and bass effects-pedal enhanced verse. The momentum starts and stops, as does the tempo, and the finale features violent slap-bass and barbarous guitar squeals. As for lyrics, Nenes says she draws from a large pool of inspirations, ranging from a personal experience with death to the topic of silence but, she says, “I try to keep my lyrics as complex as possible while still making them understandable.”
Influenced by everything from Circa Survive to improv jazz, Sleep Till North was formed largely on the basis of talent, with little concern over differing musical preferences. “I just brought together a group of my favorite musicians,” Meadows explains when asked about how the band formed. “We don’t have any weak links. A lot of times, when you go to see a local band you think, ‘yeah, that guy could be replaced pretty easily,’ but I don’t think you can say that with our band. We’re all really well-rounded players.”
Sleep Till North also takes pride in helping to fill the void created by a relative lack of prog-rock bands in Albuquerque. “There aren’t a lot of bands going for what we’re making right now,” Nenes remarks. Their choice of genre, as well as their varying musical interests, helps give Sleep Till North an unmistakable identity that separates them from the local music scene pack.
It’s been four short months since they formed and the band is already thinking about heading into the studio as early as the end of the summer. “We want to have 20 songs that we could not possibly love more and then we’ll use all of our connections and all of our energy to get our name out there,” says Nenes.
In the meantime, the band is slated to play an all-ages show at the Cell Theatre with local act Ki and soul-rock creators Smyrk from Connecticut. The show starts at 7 p.m.
For more on Sleep Till North, checkout their MySpace page at myspace.com/sleeptillnorth.
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Jim Almand • blues, singer-