Although laptops and MP3 players have replaced ghetto blasters and cassette recorders, it doesn’t stop most of us from going through a youthful stage of recording the radio and replacing the DJ with our own witty banter and interpretations of music. Little do we know at the time, that this is a form of self-education – we discover music, make our own opinions, articulate the reasons why, maybe even start adding a few songs of our own, usually made on a Fisher Price keyboard. Our reward is the nervous nodding of approval from Mum and Dad, despite The Village People having their fifth week at Number One.
Sleeping Bag is the band that should have been hitting the top ten of your adolescent DJ show - they suit that slapped together bedroom pop – but this isn’t the only point because, amongst the tipexxed mixtapes of yesteryear, there are always the mixes you should have given away to someone special, but you were too young and too stupid to do so. In a word, for those of you who want to kick your teacher/Dad/police man in the plumbs for lying and saying that our childhood should have been the best years of your life, Sleeping Bag are the band for you.
What do adolescence males do in their bedroom? They write and record songs about the women in their life. So no wonder the album is called Women of Your Life – somewhat of an ode to that embarrassing stage of our lives.
Starting with the title track, it’s obvious that this is a sparse and simplistic pop outfit and it’s all about accessible song writing. There’s nothing more appealing in a band when you too can play and record similar music yourself. Fronting the band is songwriter and drummer Dave Segedy with his dulcet tonal voice. At first it’s somewhat immature, but as soon as the first song is over and the immaturity has worn off it becomes the deadpan of charm. The drone is pushed to one side and we have nothing left but fun, geekery and girls. “Soda Pop” follows and it instantly hits the minimalist indie-geek rock standard. You can drive to it, dance to it, and sing along with the chorus.
Their third song, “Soccer Ball”, is also very memorable, and if you’re British this is what you listen to when you’re on the bus journey home from work, building courage to ask the overly attractive person who has a late shift at the shop, but if you’re American it’s most likely the song you chew bubble gum to, trying to impress some overly attractive person outside the local shop. Either way, you’re shirt is tucked in lopsided, your tie looks like snot, and that attempt to look smart and cool just isn’t working.
Each song follows in the same stratum and before you know it the album is nearly finished. Each number is short, snappy and sweet, but it can be a little repetitive as an album. The songs work perfectly by themselves.
Final track “Nightmare” is fantastically hooky, most likely because of the backing vocals, which it’s impossible not chant along to. Also “Walking Home”, the bands promotional song for the album, is guitar twang-tastic – smile drenched whistling sounds start the tune off, summer comes flooding back, and then you realise – it’s going to be impossible to decide which songs from Sleeping Bags little treat of an album will be on that summer time mix tape next year, for that holiday you take with that special someone who’s borrowing their dads car with no top, and puts up with your dodgy shirts and ties.
Release: 27th November 2012, Joyful Noise Records