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Sleeper Car
Love & Anxiety
(self-released)
www.sleepercarband.com


It's a tragic shame when a band plays Americana and insists on calling their fiddles violins… this kind of dark, pedal steel-heavy alt.country doesn't have anything to do with violin… believe me. But that slight semantic aside, Sleeper Car make some real nice almost gothic alt.country in the vein of 16 Horsepower and Munly. Michael Musikantow's voice is a bit on the whiny side, but his guitar playing is evocative of Jay Farrar as he rolls through these six excellent songs, accompanied by his four bandmates. The music is on the mid-tempo side, gritty with just the right amount of polish, and completely original sounding. "I Won't Break Down" rocks a bit more than any of the other tracks, while "Anti Climactic Girl" slows down a bit and relaxes back with some fine melodic fiddling. "Caliber Eyes" has the same flavor as Haywire-era Frog Holler, telling a great story with powerful melody, excellent steel guitar, and vocals that stretch almost to a Connells' height. But it is album opener "Lay It Down" that is perhaps the best introduction to Sleeper Car; with its rolling drumbeats and syncopated guitar parts, this song is anything but the ordinary thing. This is classic alt.country goodness with a unique college rock sensibility that makes for some extremely fine listening. Whether you want to call them fiddles or violins, they still sound good, and so does everything else that Sleeper Car has to offer.

-L. Keane


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