The sleeping American stoner rock giant known simply as Sleep surprised the music world by releasing their first album in years titled The Sciences through Third Man Records. The band was able to keep a tight lid on the upcoming release until the Morse code update, the CD and the two LP set hit the streets on of all days, April 20, 2018 or 420.
Since the release, Sleep has played sporadic shows abroad such as the legendary Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands. North America hosted a ten date run which concluded in Dallas at the Bomb Factory on Sunday, December 16.
Chilly weather didn’t deter true fans known as ‘sleepy heads’ from staking their claim at the front doors prior to opening to gain that prestigious spot on the barricade. A handful of high-rise tables were scattered about the wide open floor, some reserved with names and a few that were not.
The experimental two-man duo Pinkish Black consisting solely of synths and drums turned in a surprisingly solid performance that should peak the curiosity of true music fans. The majority of their short set consisted of music from their most recent offering, the 2015 release Bottom of the Morning through Relapse Records.
Weather Warlock, the one person outfit created by artist Quintron, was definitely an audio trip that teetered bewilderment. Quintron utilized his custom built, weather controlled analog synthesizer flanked by two candelabras to create an audio voyage like no other as he milled about the stage tweaking and turning knobs before finally disappearing from sight as synth sounds continued.
Reappearing from the back of the venue and being led to the stage by a compact light in what could be best described as an Abdominal Snowman hooded overcoat, he took to the stage once again to conclude his set leaving attendees with respect earned but in a confused set.
Keeping with the space explorer theme or Marijuanauts, Sleep sound personnel could be spotted in white, short sleeved shirts and black skinny ties representing Mission Control of the 1960’s whereas stage hands could be seen in Sleep embroidered flight suits.
There was no gigantic green Sleep logo backing the stage or pyramid stack of Orange Amps, five piece green kit and the wall of bass amps. Just a simple blackness that consisted of hundreds or maybe several thousand stars shinning and blinking as if miles away from city lights.
After what seemed liked forever, the Moon Landing inspired radio transmission between Mission Control and Marijuanauts came to an end as Matt Pike, Al Cisneros and Jason Roeder took the stage to their and began the slow and heavy plow of their set which began with the 12 inch single “Leagues Beneath” followed by “Holy Mountain”, “Sonic Titan”, 2014’s 12 inch single “The Clarity”, “Marijuanaut’s Theme”, “The Botanist” and concluding with “Dragonaut.”
It was nice to hear the material included in the night’s set list even though an abbreviated version of “Dopesmoker” wasn’t included. Sleep didn’t need any fancy staging, just solid blue, red or green lights and a wall of sound to deliver a bag of natural stoner rock music to the hard core ‘sleepy heads’ pushing toward the front and hipsters that milled around in the back.