It may have taken nearly 5 years to finally get this record in stores, but one can't really fault Chino Moreno, DJ Crook and Todd Wilkinson, who collectively are known as Team Sleep, for the wait. Following an online leak of their entire work-in-progress album, the band decided to shelve most of their previously completed material, guest appearances and all, and have now finally returned with a newly renovated collection of songs.
This is not to say that all of their past tracks have been cut though, as many songs from the prior leak are still present. But rare is it that such songs haven't been reinvented with additional layers of sound, breaks and vocals. To the uninitiated, the digitally forged romp into lo-fi wistful rock that is Team Sleep is an experience not often heard. From yearning guitars paired against detached electronic programming, to the unrestrained drumming of Hella's Zach Hill and Moreno's delicate vocals, the music is at once encompassing and melancholic.
Guest appearances from Rob Crow of Pinback and Mary Timony of Helium fame favor heavily with repeat performances made throughout the effort. These additions don't seem to detract from the mood of the album, though they do make it seem somewhat scatterbrained overall. Unfortunately this is perhaps the bands biggest downfall aside from the rather raw production. The material, while ethereal and entrancing, is also self-indulgent and flighty. Its beauty is often belied by repetition or clustered instrumentation that can become tiresome and hard for most to get into.
Undoubtedly Deftones fans, especially those of "White Pony", will find much to enjoy here, as it is easily Moreno's most fragile and electronically augmented work to date. True, the public at large may find this all too hedonistic and self-serving, but one still must appreciate the boldness in what the band are trying to accomplish here. Creating an enjoyable sonic excursion that deftly juxtaposes digital and analog is no easy task. Doing so with a thin production only raises the stakes. In turn, Team Sleep may not exactly be the aural equivalent of cortisone, but their music will surely be refreshing to anyone of a somber disposition.
(3.5 / 5)