Tuesday 26 April 2022

They Sleep We Live - Escaping The Measures Of Time

Labels: Dingleberry Records/Framecode Records/Kopefen Rec/Pike Records/Samegrey Records/Zegema Beach Records

Formats: Vinyl/Digital

Release Date: 15 Dec 2016


1. Empty Shells Broken Heart

2. Equilibrium

3. Asunder

4. What Remains

It's nearly May and I haven't written anywhere near as many reviews as last year, but quantity doesn't mean quality so I'm feeling no pressure. I'm kicking off this week with another ZBR roster review, featuring the 2016 single-sided LP from German screamo band They Sleep We Live. Escaping The Measures Of Time was released in December of 2016 by the labels listed above, it was pressed onto 300 copies on coke bottle coloured vinyl and was only the second ever release by the band (according to their bandcamp page). It was sandwiched between splits with Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket and Piri Ries, spanning less than twelve months. I call that pretty darn productive for such a short time period.

When writing over the last few years, I’ve had a greater affection for shorter releases. I don’t know why, other than because they’ve always slotted nicely into my weekday routine. I guess you could call me lazy or accuse me of having a short attention span at times, but having a day job that’s somewhat challenging mentally does have that effect on me. Short bursts of screamo/emo really help though and They Sleep We Live’s own take on the sub-genre seems perfect for this sunny evening as the melodic tones of ‘Empty Shells Broken Hearts’ build in volume, threatening to burst forth. The build up is often greater than the explosion though and here it retreats to give way for emo-laden post-hardcore that’s off-kilter and full of impact.

‘Equilibrium’ is pure unadulterated screamo with so much energy and body to it. The mix of harsher screams and emotive clean vocals give it balance, while still allowing They Sleep We Live to spread their message about society and it’s struggle, That message is further brought to life by the instrumentation, in the same way that it is through modern-day crust influenced bands like Morrow and Terra Mater. 

There’s a heavier atmospheric/black metal vibe going on during ‘Asunder’, instrumentally. It’s a vibe that’s fleeting and it gives way to a song that switches between heart wrenching emo and melodic hardcore. It has so much yet it’s totally cohesive and enthralling, showing just how thoughtful and endearing this record, and it’s songwriting is. 

The closing song ‘What Remains’ sounds a little unnerving at first with the musical toy-like sample at it’s beginning. Fear not though, there’s nothing remotely horror-like here, only one final skittish screamo hymn filled with orchestrated movements and European flair. They Sleep We Live will keep you guessing about the direction they’re going to take with each song on this record but that’s no bad thing at all. They all belong together though, creating a short story through music. Absolutely essential. Beautifully packaged.

FFO: La Dispute, Ostraca, Respire, Morrow, Terra Mater

You can stream and purchase Escaping The Measures Of Time via bandcamp below:-

They Sleep We Live - https://www.facebook.com/theysleepwelive

Physical copies can be purchased from the labels below:-

Pike Records - https://www.pikerecords.com/releases/

Zegema Beach Records - USA Store: https://zbrusa.com/collections/zbr-releases/

Dingleberry Records - https://www.facebook.com/Dingleberry-records-and-distribution

Framecode Records - https://www.facebook.com/framecoderecords

Kopefen Rec - https://www.facebook.com/Koepfen

Pike Records - https://www.facebook.com/pikercrds

Samegrey Records - https://www.facebook.com/samegrey

Zegema Beach Records - https://www.facebook.com/zegemabeachrecords

No comments:

Post a Comment