Album: Under the Moon/By the Bay
By: Jack Calamyne
I just recently stumbled into Sleepology’s 2011 release Under the Moon/By the Bay. I must say that I find it quite invigorating when an artist manages to reaffirm my low opinion of our fellow man without making me want to off myself. In this spirit, the Grand Rapids based band Sleepology’s post hardcore style successfully conveys the futility of the small city working class.
Unorthodox tones and song structure combine with predominant snare and gritty vocals. This album is a throwback to old school Saddle Creek bands like Desaparecidos (a Connor Oberst project), The Good Life (Cursive lead singer Tim Kasher), and early Bright Eyes. I pine for that angst and Sleepology didn’t let me down.
I guess they might be a little hard on Bay City,MI. I’ve never been there, but the lyrics in, “Leon Trumble’s Ghost Hates Bay City,” describe it as:
Moved to the city of flannels, snowmobiles, charcoal
White trash center of Michigan, gas stations, liquor stores
Homeless sniffing glue in acid washed jeans with barbed-wire tattoos
Hanging like rats in the alley.
Crack heads begging for some money
Thinking about killing myself instead
Thanks to Bay City I’m a full blown meth-head.
It is the east side of Michigan, however, so I’m feeling that this pulse is pretty real.
Would I rock this album while driving to the beach with my girl on a beautiful summer day? Probably not, but I dug Ryan Miloch’s melancholy ode to his ten months living in seclusion in Bay City. He wrote these songs between 2006 and 2009. When his main project, Port-to-Port, took a break he began recording them. Sleepology has spent the last year promoting Under the Moon/By the Bay on-line and touring when possible. It is totally worth checking out at http://sleepology.bandcamp.com/album/under-the-moon-by-the-bay