Sandman Sleeps delight with debut album ‘Crisis Actor’

Album Review

Sandman Sleeps. Photo by Miranda Jayne.

By Connor Shelton, Rock At Night St. Louis

Review: Sandman Sleeps – Crisis Actor – Release Date March 26, 2022

Formed by sisters Cristina and Alex Peck in South Florida, Sandman Sleeps is the hot new band that more people should be talking about. Their debut album, Crisis Actor, is chalk full of hits which will linger in your brain for days and tracks that refuse to be defined by any particular genre. Is it pop-rock, alternative, post-punk? Any and all of these classifications could be used to summarize this band’s unique blend of music given the array of audible influences including the Pixies, Bjork, Kate Bush, and the Cure.

Album opener “Soaked” serves as the blueprint for the vibe of the album. There’s a darkness at work in the music and lyrical content that casts a wave over the listener – thanks in large part to Alex Peck’s lurking bass line – yet the melodies soar and suggest a light at the end of the tunnel. Given the way Sandman Sleeps balances light and dark, it’s perhaps fitting that “Soaked” takes a cue from the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” practically lifting the song’s rhythm but building atop it with a more distorted guitar sound and distinct vocal melody.

Mirroring the strength of “Soaked,” we have tracks like “Feet” with its warm, dreamy chorus, the scratch-laden and bass-driven “Fellini,” and the emotive “Portrait of Jennie,” a song which really allows singer Cristina Peck to show the depth of her vocal range. A shoutout should also go to guitarist Zack Jones who excels during the last third of the song “Spiral,” never overplaying/overcomplicating the song, and drummer Karsten Andersen, who is solid throughout the record’s runtime. In general, the band’s interplay is tight, and you can really hear the synergy of the performances.

If there’s any issue to be had with the album, it’s that there are moments where the songs can feel sameish, but this is a minor critique when considering how distinct the overall sound is and that to deviate from it could result in a band lacking identity. Thankfully for Sandman Sleeps, they don’t have to worry about finding themselves. With this record alone, the band is confident in who they are as performers, and as such, never pander to the consumer. Instead, the listener is left to run in whatever direction the music takes them, and don’t be surprised if you come to a different destination with every listen. That’s what Sandman Sleeps is shooting for, and to this reviewer, they massively succeed.

Crisis ActorTracklisting

1. “Soaked”2. “Feet”3. “Opaque” 4. “Fellini”5. “Induced”6. “Spiral”7. “Five Bell Alarm”8. “Portrait Of Jennie9. “Summer Rain”10. “Rare Cloud”







Connor Shelton

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