Dead Stars: Slumber

Unassuming and soaked in fuzzed-out guitar, Slumber is the debut for this Brooklynite trio. The formula is simple: Sonic Youth meets a ‘90s garage high school band. What that translates into makes for an overall pleasant listen (if you’re feeling indulgent on that day), but often borderline monotonous and dull. There is a combination of elements that most wouldn’t dare to try on an album, but gets a pass when going through the flow of the music. There is a bit of everything from ‘90s rock on this record, and almost none of it sticks together well, from the self-deprecating lyrical direction to an all-too deliberate (but not too convincing) lo-fi feel. Songs like “Summer Bummer” and “Daylight” sound taken straight out of a battle of the bands, while “Older” and “Heal Over Time” are acoustic pieces dangerously flirting with emo. The band shows talent, but purposefully underperforms by enacting melancholic, dweeby teens.

Still, not everything is to be thrown away here, if one can sit through enough of the album without screaming, “Posers!” right away. Despite most of the songs lacking in substance individually, the album flows together really well, resulting in a pleasantly mellow record, an indie rocker’s soundtrack to a lazy day.

It may help in better understanding the band’s artistic vision to know that, A) they’re based out of Williamsburg, and B) they’re releasing Slumber on cassette as well as digitally. An excellent candidate for airplay at Urban Outfitters across the country, the potential with this record is there, but they’re trying a little too hard to sound sloppy, and it all ends up feeling like store-bought ripped jeans.

In A Word: Contrived