Music Reviews

Artist: Sleepless Droids (@)
Title: Decision
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: CRL Studios (@)
Rated: *****
When I first received this I wasn't sure if it was legitimate product or just a band rushing out a handmade CDr to get review (as my copy is a handmade CDr) so I back-burnered it for later'¦much later. Turns out though that 'Decision' is quite legit as you can find it on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon (download) and elsewhere. When I got this, the band was called Sleepless, but apparently changed to Sleepless Droids. (Hey, are those the droids you've been looking for?) The project began in late 2011 as an experimental sound outlet for Australian producer Aaron Potter. Self-described as 'a hybrid of Electro-Industrial with elements of IDM and Drum and Bass'¦ combining layered electronics fused with raw human emotion,' it's not too far off the mark, although I'm not so sure about the raw human emotion part. 'Decision' is the debut EP, initially released just a month shy of a year on Halloween, 2012.

What we have here is five quality electro-industrial tracks with synthpop elements in the vocal/melody department. There is enough variety to be engaging, but not quite enough pizzazz to stand out from the crowd of an already glutted field. The opener, 'An Introduction,' with its martial beat and cooing vocal by Tessa Zintek Zinyk was a real attention getter, but had me expecting the music to be more along the lines of Collide. That's Tessa's only contribution here though; sort of a pity. Aaron sings on three of the remaining four tracks, and his voice is melodically pleasing (and undistorted, a big plus in my book), but it doesn't have that charismatic je ne sais quoi so vital to propelling a project of this type to the forefront. So in spite of the catchiness of some tracks, it may not grab you instantly. The synth and drum programming are competent and effective, but nothing you haven't heard before. To Aaron's credit though, there are some nifty production techniques and creative use of vocoder that give this EP a nice boost. Favorite tracks are 'Augmented' with a nice hook, and 'An Introduction' mainly because of the martial beat and Tessa's voice. My least favorite track was the instrumental, vocal sample-laden 'I Waited'.

As an initial effort, 'Decision' shows promise for Sleepless Droids, and it's better than a lot of fledgling bands in this genre I've heard over the years, but I think Aaron needs to up his game on the next release or risk getting lost in the middle of the pack in an already cluttered field.

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