SLEEP - 'The Sciences' (2018)

19 April 2018
SLEEP - 'The Sciences' (2018)
  • Лейбъл: Third Man Records
  • Издаден: 2018
  • Aвтор: Никола Шахпазов
  • Оценка:

Well, they caught us by surprise. While we were drinking our last Thursday beer. While waiting for the late night tram to arrive. Just before our time for sleep. Or simply before our “sleep tight” joint.

In the midnight hour between April 19th and 20th, the green meteorite we've been waiting for since 2003 (or since 1999 rather) hit our tiny little universe – signaling the new SLEEP album had arrived. Boom! Stoner rock's leading band had pulled an unexpected Beyoncé on us.
Good one, guys.
The date (4.20) couldn't have been better. The label (Jack White's Third Man Records) fir like a glove. The design (so far only the cover art, included in digital releases) featured beloved SLEEP imagery - very sci-fi, very cosmic, very dopy and filled with smoke.
All that you need for a classic SLEEP release, right? Still and to a certain level – as expected – this is not the new 'Dopesmoker', and neither is it the new 'Holy Mountain'. Damn, it's nowhere near the “new stoner classic” label.
Both sound- and arrangement-wise 'The Sciences' has a lot in common with 2014's ЕР 'The Clarity' – a neat, hypnotic exercise in recreating the cosmic stoner that made SLEEP legendary. And just like that extended play, 'The Sciences' is more a treat for the fans than the revolution 'Dopesmoker' was.
The tracks are staggeringly long (3 of them – longer than 10 minutes and 2 breaking the 6 minute mark), the guitars, bass and vocals are instantly recognizable (although their sound is awfully polished and the bass is placed too far back in the mix), the lyrics are no surprise (weed, astronauts, Geezer Butler) – SLEEP have employed all they needed to but the results are nowhere near revolutionary.
Which isn't to say these tracks are worthless. 'Sonic Titan' and 'Marijuanaut’s Theme' are great and immersive (the solos in there are splendid) while the grand repetitiveness of  'Antarcticans Thawed' and 'The Botanist' are the right reason for a second, third and so on spin of the album.
Although a nice listen for yours truly, truth is 'The Sciences' is no more than a stereotypical SLEEP release, relying way too much on their own signature hooks and cliches. A loud, plodding journey to nowhere, leaving us with little at its end.
Still a great way to celebrate 4.20, though.