Rating:
7.0
Sleeping Peonies - Rose Curl, Sea Swirl
12 May 2010


01. Sugary Bergerets
02. Lighthouse Alight, Stars Aligned
03. Dreamy Duskywings
04. Mist And Sea Spray, Mermaids Signing Far Away
05. The Peirs Are Ghosts
06. Frost Sparkling
07. Deer Attacking Hunter


Limited to 100 copies.


Sleeping Peonies........ their band name sounds so utterly ridiculous to my pre-adolescent brain that I'm not even going to begin taking shots at it. I'm just going to ignore it. (I know it is the plural form of 'peony' which is a flower. I don't care.)

Rose Curl, Sea Swirl is their first-ever and so far only release and it is a bit of an melting pot. It mixes the freezing guitar sound of Pyramids with a dreamy atmosphere reminiscent of Alcest, with Lifelover-esque vocals. To add to that, think Velvet Cacoon with a dreamier, colourful vibe. I dunno.

In short, Sleeping Peonies resides somewhere in Shoemetal/Blackgaze/whatever you want to call this new way of metalized Shoegazed bands. The distortion is at times very, very fuzzy and early ninetees Black metal-like, while at other times it is glacial, stirring and hysteric. They match both these sounds - unfortunately - with half-screamed, half-shrieked (bad) vocals, which is in my opinion a major downer. The vast amount of static is also a bit of a buzzkiller, a better production would certainly help their overall sound. A better sense of direction, would help them too. It sounds too all-over-the-place. It's ok going from one mood straight through the next, but they lack... consistency? Rose Curl, Sea Swirl sounds like three bands picked up the same vision with three different ways of expressing that vision and then just mashed all of it together. Not good.

Sleeping Peonies definitely have a knack for creating cool soundscapes and concepts and they definitely have their moments when it comes to intense and frantic, yet dreamy vibes. They also expose some annoying flaws, but let's just say that's just because Rose Curl, Sea Swirl is only their first release. There's potential in this. Let's see what they can muster up next...

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 9
Production: 5


 



Written on 18.03.2011 by
Lucas
If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.
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Lucas - 18.03.2011 at 22:16  
The whole underground world seems to be drooling over this release. Maybe... I see potential but in my opinion there's still a lot of improving for them left to do.
ß - 18.03.2011 at 23:05  
I think this review sums the release for most part. There is potential there but that special something is just lacking. It doesn't help that this release was overhyped by the underground, sort of killed it for me.
Lucas - 18.03.2011 at 23:10  
Yeah it's just a bunch of ideas and soundscapes put together, but without a main theme or thought.
Mikyz - 18.03.2011 at 23:17  
I agree with the review, I gave this a listen last year it didn't impress me, but they have potential, I'll have to check their new EP. So Good Job on the review.
IronAngel - 18.03.2011 at 23:40  
I haven't met this underground who overhyped it (in the hipster media and shoegaze elitist forums I follow, anyway), but I really liked it. The vocals sound good to my ears. Raw vocals are supposed to sound undisciplined. No such thing as too much static, either!

I think Sleeping Peonies have their sound quite right. I love the cheesy synth. The bass sound is pretty bad, though. I think this band has the right idea about a proper mix of shoegaze/dream pop and black metal. I like their approach better than Alcest, for example. Granted, the songwriting could be a little more even and solid. I'd probably give this a 7.5 which is very good in my books. Maybe even an 8 but probably not. Good review anyway, gives a fair description of their music.

Extra points for the absolutely ridicilous song titles (and the name and album title, too). "Mist And Sea Spray, Mermaids Singing Far Away." What the hell man, what the hell?
!J.O.O.E.! - 19.03.2011 at 00:28  
I might have heard this, not really sure, but those song titles are clearly ripping of Velvet Cacoon.
malaikat - 19.03.2011 at 01:30  
Yeah it's kinda good, but it sounds like bunch of stuff glued together, there's no feel of homogenity at all. Pretty original though, gotta hand them that.
Ag Fox - 19.03.2011 at 02:32  
Good review. I remember listening to it after seeing certain people mention it on MS, but found it rather meh despite it's moments
Merchant of Doom - 19.03.2011 at 14:15  
Great album for a début... shame the reviewer doesn't "get it"...
Lucas - 19.03.2011 at 15:54  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 19.03.2011 at 14:15

Great album for a début... shame the reviewer doesn't "get it"...


Not "getting it" is one of the worst things you can do in the underground. I better re-write the review and score it a 9.3, otherwise people might think I'm not cool.
malaikat - 19.03.2011 at 16:16  
Written by Lucas on 19.03.2011 at 15:54

Written by Merchant of Doom on 19.03.2011 at 14:15

Great album for a début... shame the reviewer doesn't "get it"...


Not "getting it" is one of the worst things you can do in the underground. I better re-write the review and score it a 9.3, otherwise people might think I'm not cool.


Not really, you just give a bunch of underground hipsters something to whine about on teh intertubes. By that I mean you gave them reason to live

"Metalstorm is SOOOOOOOOOOO mainstream, they don't get REAL music! They so aren't deck!"
!J.O.O.E.! - 19.03.2011 at 16:38  
Listening to it again and I do really like this. I think you summed up the feel of the album well here, and I do agree that the vocals are a bit of a problem (though they go unnoticed in the end). Good stuff, doesn't feel like a black metal album, for some reason it feels like a Fuck Buttons / To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie kind of record, or at least appealing to that elitist indie-kid market. Not an issue for me though, it's good stuff indeed.

Heh, didn't even realise these guys were English either.
Merchant of Doom - 19.03.2011 at 18:49  
They are from East Anglia... and thanks for mentioning another of my favourite "local" bands... the mighty Fuck Buttons! BTW, it's not a crime "not getting" something the first time 'round... it is indeed quite depressing being a hipster... so, don't worry... it's cool not to be cool...
Lucas - 19.03.2011 at 18:51  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 19.03.2011 at 18:49

They are from East Anglia... and thanks for mentioning another of my favourite "local" bands... the mighty Fuck Buttons! BTW, it's not a crime "not getting" something the first time 'round... it is indeed quite depressing being a hipster... so, don't worry... it's cool not to be cool...


Should I have listened to the entire album instead of just the first song? Naaaaaaaaaah. Actually, the more I played this the more the flaws started to annoy me.

Btw, I'm a yup(pie) not a hipster.
!J.O.O.E.! - 19.03.2011 at 19:17  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 19.03.2011 at 18:49

They are from East Anglia... and thanks for mentioning another of my favourite "local" bands... the mighty Fuck Buttons! BTW, it's not a crime "not getting" something the first time 'round... it is indeed quite depressing being a hipster... so, don't worry... it's cool not to be cool...

Fuck Buttons are a very interesting outfit, I still haven't properly listened to their last album but their first, Street Horrrsing or whatnot, was a great example of soft, noisey music for The NME reading generation.
Merchant of Doom - 20.03.2011 at 00:39  
I stopped reading NME when I was ten... am I still a hipster?
!J.O.O.E.! - 20.03.2011 at 05:30  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 20.03.2011 at 00:39

I stopped reading NME when I was ten... am I still a hipster?

That depends. Do you wear NHS black rimmed glasses (or even worse, wear glasses with non-prescription glass or WORSE still, wear glasses with no glass in at all), have an undercut and own at least 5 cardigans which you think are incredibly cool? If so then yes. You are indeed a hipster.
Merchant of Doom - 20.03.2011 at 11:02  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 20.03.2011 at 05:30

Written by Merchant of Doom on 20.03.2011 at 00:39

I stopped reading NME when I was ten... am I still a hipster?

That depends. Do you wear NHS black rimmed glasses (or even worse, wear glasses with non-prescription glass or WORSE still, wear glasses with no glass in at all), have an undercut and own at least 5 cardigans which you think are incredibly cool? If so then yes. You are indeed a hipster.


No, I don't... rats! I used to like the Smiths, though...
!J.O.O.E.! - 20.03.2011 at 14:27  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 20.03.2011 at 11:02

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 20.03.2011 at 05:30

Written by Merchant of Doom on 20.03.2011 at 00:39

I stopped reading NME when I was ten... am I still a hipster?

That depends. Do you wear NHS black rimmed glasses (or even worse, wear glasses with non-prescription glass or WORSE still, wear glasses with no glass in at all), have an undercut and own at least 5 cardigans which you think are incredibly cool? If so then yes. You are indeed a hipster.


No, I don't... rats! I used to like the Smiths, though...

Actually I still really like The Smiths... I can feel my plan falling apart as we speak o.0
Merchant of Doom - 20.03.2011 at 15:52  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 20.03.2011 at 14:27

Written by Merchant of Doom on 20.03.2011 at 11:02

Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 20.03.2011 at 05:30

Written by Merchant of Doom on 20.03.2011 at 00:39

I stopped reading NME when I was ten... am I still a hipster?

That depends. Do you wear NHS black rimmed glasses (or even worse, wear glasses with non-prescription glass or WORSE still, wear glasses with no glass in at all), have an undercut and own at least 5 cardigans which you think are incredibly cool? If so then yes. You are indeed a hipster.


No, I don't... rats! I used to like the Smiths, though...

Actually I still really like The Smiths... I can feel my plan falling apart as we speak o.0


phew... I can now confess... I have one of Morrissey's albums...
!J.O.O.E.! - 20.03.2011 at 16:09  
Written by Merchant of Doom on 20.03.2011 at 15:52

phew... I can now confess... I have one of Morrissey's albums...

Heh, I don't think I've ever ventured into his solo stuff but given my spurious taste of recent times it's probably just a matter of time before I do ¬_¬

I'm glad no one can see my Last.fm account these days.
INÆRIS - 22.03.2011 at 16:38  
Wow this album was a great surprise. I really enjoy it. Fortunately, whoever mixed the album made the vocals pretty quiet in the mix. The vocals aren't my favorite, but they give the record an interesting vibe. This album is addicting. I like how some of the drum beats throughout the record are double-time, and it's not what you anticipate at all, but it works so well. This album is a great balance of beauty and agony.

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