Sleepaway - Self-Titled [No Milk Records]
By: Amnesty Phillip

Every once in a while, an album comes along that just wows you. Not in the sense, "wow, this album is good" kind of way, but rather "this has taken my breath away" kind of way. This is the initial thought that came into mind upon the first listen of Sleepaway's self-titled debut.

Sleepaway, who emerge from Buffalo, which is known for it's more prominent 'hardcore' scene, break outside the mold to show that it's okay to do your own thing and you don't have to follow a trend. Instead, the quintent opts for a sound that is much more subtle and carefree. Sleepaway combines gentle guitar and piano-driven instrumentation with quirky hooks and emotional, heartfelt lyrics that is reminiscent of Copeland and Mae.

The self-titled effort exceeded all expectations I had imagined, delivering one of the best albums of it's kind. All the songs are perfectly developed and provide impeccable vocals. The songs have their own story lines that deal with loss, discovery, heartache and eagerness. Lead vocalist, Alex Tiberia vocals show considerable versatility that carries on through both the ballads and the more up-beat songs. The musicianship between the guitars, percussion and piano is tighter than I remember it ever being, playing out to an overall proficient sound.

Needless to say, It's an album where you will find not one flaw. As the band's debut record, Sleepaway have done a outstanding job, however there is always room for growth.