We also do the occasional article now as well dont-ch-ya-know!
appears on SO WHAT? (2019)
While She Sleeps are no strangers to two things: reinvention and capital letters. Their latest two albums, released on their own independent record label Sleep Brothers with help from others, feature the sort of large print that your nan’s Mills and Boon books could only hope to achieve. Trying to tap into that lucrative over 60’s metalcore fandom, perhaps?
Obscure romance publishing house references aside, While She Sleeps started out as a straight-metalcore outfit from Sheffield, England. They’re still from Sheffield, but their sound has evolved into a very different beast. It’s punk-infused, it’s alt-rock, it’s a little electronic, a lot more melodic; all with that hammer-blow metalcore vein running through it. I love it – the album that this week’s song is taken from, 2019’s SO WHAT? is one of my favourite albums of the last few years – and their 2021 follow-up SLEEP SOCIETY only improved that formula.
The band’s new style has its critics, as any album that sounds more radio-friendly inevitably does. But there’s nothing about SO WHAT? that isn’t rock at its core. The band built their own recording studio and practically lived in it for five months, then the promotion of the album included men in hazmat suits handing out copies on flash drives to people who approached them in the street. They did team up with major rock record label Spinefarm but the band themselves were quick to distance that with any drop in quality or intent in their music, and I’m inclined to believe them. Don’t let the fact that it is a more audio-polished album fool you, because this is no case of style over substance. Plus, it’s heavier than your nan’s Mills and Boon collection (sorry, I’ll stop now).
While She Sleeps hit a defining, and redefining, sound on this album and what it trades in on it’s metalcore roots it pays out with so many fantastic songs. It was a hard choice, but I’ve settled on track six, HAUNT ME as this week’s RSOTW; a punchy, anthemic track that might not have the metalcore energy of the opener ANTI-SOCIAL, but kicks ass in its own right. Like I said before, the cleaner approach of SO WHAT? won’t suit everyone, but this is a shining example of a band who took their own direction in their hands and ran with it.
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