Sleep Disorder are a fairly new band based out of Baltimore, Maryland and share members with thrashing death metal act Noisem. Despite the vague connection, there is little death, thrash or any kind of metal on display here, with this crazy quartet preferring to play some fast, noisy, and dissonant-as-fuck powerviolence. This is their first demo, a self-titled release, which was initially put up for free download on Bandcamp before eventually being re-touched and turned into a vinyl release. The version I’m reviewing is the vinyl version – which I actually find a bit superior to the original.
The basic sound of Sleep Disorder is a contemporary noise/pv/grind style that nods in the direction of classics like Man Is The Bastard on occasion, but hums to the tune of more recent acts such as Water Torture, Full of Hell, and the like. In what appears to be a clear attempt to stand out and stamp their own individual mark, a lot of emphasis is given to how the tracks are presented. The material contained within this self-titled debut release is fuzzed out to the max, with distortion, feedback, noisy guitar leads, and vocal effects all adding to the chaotic dissonant nature of the music. Like any good release in this genre, the tracks are spontaneous and unpredictable.. however, in this bands case, the unpredictability is a bit more. Even within the short track lengths, all sorts of stuff transpires; the whole noise factor is very well played through both the fast and slow sections. Indeed, it’s that fuzzed out noise aspect that pulls me into their music and interests me the most. Though the emphasis on that end means that the production is not particularly ‘heavy’ but that doesn’t hold the music back from crushing you and causing you to pull your hair apart from your skull. Credit needs to be given to the band for making me feel like a miserable cunt. Solid vocals round off the sum of the parts, but its the vocal effects that are very well done. They aid in creating a nihilistic, drugged out and utterly dreadful atmosphere. There is a substantial amount of grit and negativity here – this is no positive goofy powerviolence for you to pogo to. Songs like “Shallow,” “The Web” and “Pray” (all of which come in quick succession, one after another) in particular almost had me self-flagellating myself like Shia Muslims do on the day of Ashura.
The name of the band is interesting indeed, in the sense that they actually try to live up to it. At its most hideous moments, they certainly do sound like a collection of voices haunting a neurotic insomniac mind, though there are moments you’d want to stagedive/circle pit to as well. Personally, it’s their more ugly and noisy moments that draws me, rather than the more typical ones, and I’d like to see more fucked up compositions from these lads in the future. Solid debut, recommended.
– Hassan Dozakhi