Sleep Inertia – Growth, Decay, Transformation ★★★★☆

SI GDTArtist: Sleep Inertia

EP: Growth, Decay, Transformation

Release Date: 20/3/15

From the ashes of The Dead Lay Waiting rises a new monster, Sleep Inertia, A much more sinister beast. Some of you out there may have already had a taste of the band, made up of four members of TDLW Ben Connett & Steve Franklin on guitar, Sam Sara on bass and Thomas Shrimpton on drums. During TDLW farewell tour the guys played as a support act to themselves with vocalist Jamie Harrison joining the ranks. In death comes life as they buried themselves only to be resurrected stronger than ever. So with the line up set and the songs ready to go, how much like their previous band do they sound? Answer, not very.

‘Growth’ opens with soft ambience before Jamie’s roar beckons the darker element of their sound to fly in and devastate. Progressive and intricate fret work is the order of the day but not in an overly technical fashion. The heaviness comes in subtle forms and in Jamie, a vocalist with a distinct delivery mould together to create something intriguing and completely different to their previous selves in TDLW. ‘Nor’easter’ is start and stop on the riff front with scything guitars cutting to frantic effect, with moments of elegant ambience and melody. The use of melody under the harsh vocals bring each other together in an almost beautiful essence. Sam takes up his duty as back up/clean singer once again but is used sparsely throughout the record. Two songs in and we’ve already figured out that the band will not be a beatdown heavy act that many bands have turned into in recent years, but would rather push themselves to write as best they can.

‘Decay’ throws in a fresh ingredient with injected pace and urgency to sound as chaotic as it is structured, showing off Tom Shrimpton’s ability to get around his kit and change it up when needed. The clean guitars on this EP are fantastic and well placed in the songs, used almost as a buffer between the brutal verse like sections to the enormous sounding choruses. The track ends on a slightly distorted piano part that is as sinister as it is captivating. ‘Dark Passenger’ was the first single released by the band and Sam takes centre stage on this track with a tremendous vocal performance throughout its chorus. “I can’t believe you came back just to find me, you got it all wrong. It was a fucking mistake just let me go” a memorable and catchy lyric that will stick with you for days on end. The visceral nature of the bands sound continues on and progresses with no real let up, especially on closer ‘Transformation’. An epic and majestic opening that leads into a mix of all the bands weapons in their arsenal. Pace, beauty, brutality and ambitious songwriting.

This is a much more thought out and well constructed piece than their previous incarnation that looks set to take them forward through 2015 with a wealth of support behind them. It’s never easy for bands to start again but this seems like the start of something special for the Swindon 5 piece.