Team Sleep – s/t

Team Sleep – Team Sleep
Maverick; 4 Stars

So Chino Moreno’s mood and beauty brigade art-rock group finally managed to release an album after five years of rumors and three years of internet leaks.  Having long been the only person in his scene to admit his love for Roxy Music, Chino successfully evolved the Deftones from rap-metal one hit wonders to strikingly beautiful purveyors of loud melodia a la My Bloody Valentine.  Team Sleep subtracts the noise from the equation to leave a gorgeous album of fractured doom-pop.  The record is full of the heavy, depressing atmospherics that have marked all of Deftones work since 2000’s perfect White Pony.  While the gloom looms large, the tempo picks up a bit for tracks like “Your Skull is Red,” which would have been one of the better tracks on White Pony, and “King Diamond,” a quasi-duet with Helium’s Mary Timony, who also shines on “Tomb of Liegia.”  The record expertly mixes live and digital instrumentation which, along with Chino’s understated vocals, fills the room with steam and white noise.  Tracks like “Ever (Foreign Flag)“ have the distinct melancholia of  a person so lonely that they can’t even talk to their dog.  Chino surrenders vocals to Pinback’s Rob Crow for “Elizabeth,” which easily trumps anything that the Cure has done since “reforming.”  Crow’s voice, which sounds like Elliot Smith with a cigarette in his mouth, provides a pleasant foil to Chino’s tones.  With Team Sleep, Chino tries to set himself apart from the mook-metal scene to which the Deftones (unreasonably) belong.  His creativity, vocal range, and sense of depressive atmospherics shine here.  Recommended for anyone with a broken heart.


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