Sleepingodslie, "Phlegma"

Cool name, cool title, and these Munich, Germany guys are doing their own thing, pointedly not claiming to be originators of anything but definitely working the crossover appeal angle. There are elements of metal, rock, reggae, alt-rock, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t readily identify mixed up in the musical blender. Reggae? Yep… and they do it without sounding like a bizarre German engineered clone of the Bad Brains. Sometimes people write songs to display their technical prowess, and the songs inevitably suffer from too much wankery. But with sleepinggodslie, the songs are the main focus and while the guys can all play their instruments without embarrassing themselves, the individual performances aren’t as important as the overall vibe. And man, what a strange little vibe. There’s something odd about hearing a dude from Munich, singing in slightly accented English, use a distinctly reggae cadence. But the singer doesn’t restrict himself to any particular style; he’s got an interesting voice and isn’t afraid to use it.

I’m awfully tempted to stick a new label on these guys. World metal would basically mean a band whose influences are from all over the musical map, still maintaining the “metal” part through instrumentation and attitude but willing and able to encompass music from around the globe. The metal end of things on “plegma” is sometimes palatable, sometimes a bit more obscure. When it drops in and out (as in “Knows Everything”) the songs take on a strange quality I can’t accurately describe... it's just cool. On the next song, “This Force”, the metal vibe takes on a thrash-n-roll feeling, with a nary a reggae invocation to be heard. And yet on “War Song”, they mix it up like crazy, and the result is a little bit of alright.

If you were a fan of Rage Against the Machine before they imploded, this doesn’t have the same chaotic quality but it’s barking up the same tree, at least. It’s either totally pretentious or just good fun, all depending on your point of view. World metal… hmm, I wonder if it’ll catch on?

Standout Tracks

   Knows Everything
   This Force
   War Song