Sleep On It – ‘Pride & Disaster’

By Gem Rogers

There aren’t too many bands creating proper, straight up pop punk these days – and even fewer who are doing it well. Enter Chicago four piece Sleep On It, who on debut ‘Overexposed’ captured the heart of all that has made this genre so well-loved over the last decade or so, approaching it with an authenticity that made every song feel as fresh as when we had our first taste of pop punk.

Luckily, then, sophomore album ‘Pride & Disaster’ sees Sleep On It returning with what they do best – but if you think there’s no room for growth in pop punk, then think again. Leading singles ‘Under The Moment’ and ‘Hold Your Breath’ barely scratched the surface of the treasures that await on this ten track release, sounding altogether more confident and pulled together from the very beginning of opener ‘Racing Towards A Red Light’.

Elevated by the warm, almost gritty voice of front man Zech Pluister, this is a collection of songs that instantly feel like old friends; the stories they tell are not only relatable, but often comforting, steering away from pop punk cliches and maintaining that heart we saw from them on ‘Overexposed’. From the superb and addictive bassline of ‘Babe Ruth’, a track with a State Champs vibe that could easily rival the best of bands like Fall Out Boy, to the utterly irresistible ‘After Tonight’, these are songs that beg to be sung along to, and it’s almost impossible to find a low point.

There’s dabbles in a heavier style with the sombre yet uplifting ‘Fix The Dark’, while the summery, lullaby-esque ‘The Cycle Of Always Leaving’ is a bittersweet tale of lost love, leading into the universally recognisable hometown ode of ‘Logan Square’, all the while maintaining a genuine depth and honesty throughout. There’s a natural flow to this album that makes it incredibly easy to just keep listening endlessly on repeat, but if you are to listen to it just the once, there is a true gem of a finale in ‘Lost & Found’. Showcasing all their skill to create a soaring masterpiece, it is spine-tingling and emotional, a reminder that despite the darkness, we are enough – and listening to this song, you begin to believe it.

Nostalgic yet absolutely fresh, ‘Pride & Disaster’ exudes a warm and embracing glow as golden as the setting sun; it’s the perfect proof that, in the right hands, there’s still plenty of life left in this beloved genre. Sleep On It are growing into everything we could ever have hoped and more – staying true to the pop punk we know and love, but bringing with it a new maturity and relatability. This is the band we always needed, and this could be the album that sees them reach for the heights they so deserve – watch this space, because Sleep On It are about to fill it.

GEM ROGERS

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