Wide Eyed Sleeper’s most recent EP, Choking on Menthol might be the most versatile record I’ve heard this past year. Each song is entirely different from the previous and it’s hard to classify exactly what genre the band fits into. Varying from a Foo Fighters rock vibe to a mix of indie, pop and even a little country intertwined, Choking on Menthol has a lot to offer for a five song disc.
Not newcomers to the music scene, band Wide Eyed Sleeper is made up of frontman Brett Ryan Stewart, guitarist Chris Tench, bassist Doc Downs and drummer Kevin Cuchia. Each member has had varying success on their previous endeavors, whether it was a well-received solo album or earning a 2007 nomination for IAC.com’s Indie Song of the Year. The four have combined their talents for an all-around solid release.
Having shared the stage with bands, such as The Strokes, Van Halen, No Doubt, Rush, and Brad Paisley to name a few, Wide Eyed Sleeper shows much promise and Choking on Menthol won’t disappoint. Recorded in Stewart’s home studio, the original plan was to make a follow-up to his debut album. However, once his band came together and the writing became communal, they decided to make the project a band effort.
Opening track, “Let Me Down Again” has that Foo Fighters rock anthem feel, as frontman Stewart’s vocals sound strikingly similar to that of Dave Grohl’s. Even the musical accompaniment is guitar heavy, making it easy to imagine an arena filled with fans singing along.
Title track, “Choking on Menthol” has more of a country vibe to it. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, Stewart sings, “I used to want to talk to you for hours/But now I’m not so sure that you even hear my voice/Oh, I don’t see the point of love.” Narrating the emotionally-filled ballad, he later sings “Oh, I don’t see the point of love/It never lasts that long/Oh, I don’t see the point of love/We’re still going to die alone” as his lyrics play on the listener’s heartstrings.
While “Choking on Menthol” and “Left to Write” are slower ballads, “Wake Me Up” is an edgier track with fitting guitar accompaniment. The music is rougher than heard previously on the album, but suits the band well. Singing, “Wake me up when the revolution comes,” if anything is certain, Wide Eyed Sleeper won’t be in a slumber for too much longer after this release.
You can also read this review first posted on ReviewYou.com.
Be sure to check out Wide Eyed Sleeper on MySpace and listen to songs featured on the EP I wrote about above.