Pavement, Sebadoh, The Pixies
Don't say you've heard it all before. Though Sleeping Bag is garnering praise in the form of comparisons to everyone from the Beach Boys to Stephen Malkmus, the trio's easily put together power pop is a force unto itself. Possessing a dead pan style and indie swagger, the self-titled debut from this Bloomington, ID outfit is one of the most fun and accessible rock records you'll likely get to hear all year.
Founded by drummer/vocalist Dave Segedy, Sleeping Bag started out as a solo project before the songwriter joined up with guitarist Lewis Rogers and bassist David Woodruff. While all three members are accomplished writers and front men each, Segedy remains the primary singer, a sort of indie slacker Phil Collins, pounding the skins and hitting the falsettos in between his otherwise perfectly monotone delivery. And while Segedy lays down a straightforward beat, Rogers and Wilson have all kinds of fun emulating every kind of alternative genre from the last three decades. The simple structures and carefree attitude that serves to loosen the reigns allows Sleeping Bag to be straight to the point and laid back, driving and relaxed, all at the same time.
All this comes across brilliantly in the bands self-titled debut record, out on Joyful Nose Recordings, and already being heralded as a record that oversteps mere throwback nostalgia for an immediate and artful take on familiar territory. Opening with the group's single, "Slime," Segedy's repetitive, darkly crooned lyrics skim atop jangly guitars and reverb drenched melodies, with a pulsing bass anchoring every song in a post punk frame of mind. It's all absolutely perfect in it's presentation, and when the group gets to shine in even breezier tracks like "Acer" or rollicking revelries like album closer "Another Time," Sleeping Bag carry an amiable and addictive charm to their sound. As introductions go, it doesn't much better than this.