Purveying sheer emotion while simultaneously exhibiting the aggression attached may seem like a daunting, almost impossible task, but Colorado’s own Overslept (a self-proclaimed “rock band with sensitive breakdowns”) have not only stepped up to the plate, but with their latest record With or Without, have succeeded in doing just that.
The album kicks off with an atmospheric, celestial vibe via artificial harmonic guitar plucks on “Two For Flinching.” It soon becomes a powerful vocally-driven anthem ranging from slow and emotional, to a mood so heavy you can almost see the band bobbing to the beat as if being sucked into the ground, desperately trying to free themselves from the quicksand below. Sound kinda emo? It kinda is, and it’s great.
While the band stays true to their fragile yet powerful sound throughout the LP, they venture into new grounds with the more playful, yet still emotionally charged “Survival Of The Chillest.” The track sees the band incorporating an almost campfire-song vibe complete with egg shakers, while maintaining the overall feeling of unease by trading off frantic solo passages on each instrument.
The closing, title, and longest track of the album treads into almost progressive rock realms, with builds that keep the listener on edge, only to slow back down, keeping an ebb and flow of adrenaline throughout the nearly seven minute composition. The element of suspense, paired with call and answer vocals and the occasional drum “freak out” make With Or Without the perfect conclusion to the disc.
The overall tone of the record is melodious and melancholy, yet it’s jarring enough to keep discerning pop rock ears piqued, pushing past the boundaries of traditional indie into new, dissonant territory. Despite this, the album drags the listener back home with hooks and lyrics that echo the band’s homey, almost comforting name with lines like “something keeps me sleeping in” and “sleeping through anxiety never really works for me.” That being said, call With Or Without a sleeper, not an album worth sleeping through.
Overslept celebrate the release of With Or Without April 4 at The Marquis in Denver with a subsequent nationwide tour. Nate Wilde is a radio personality for Radio 94.9, 92.9 The Bear and 107.9 KBPI.