Following on from their 2017 debut full-length, ‘Overexposed’, Chicago’s Sleep On It are back with their sophomore record, ‘Pride & Disaster’.
Opener ‘Racing Towards A Red Light’ is a strong introduction to what to expect from the ten songs that are on offer here. The track hones in on everything a pop-punk song should be, complete with infectious guitar riffs reminiscent of 00s era All Time Low.
One of the strongest points throughout is the sheer energy running from start-to-finish. There’s no comedown for a slow ballad we’ve come to expect from the genre, but instead more delicate topics are dealt with in these high-fuelled numbers.
Lead single, ‘Under The Moment’, sees a completely new side to Sleep On It; the melodies are unlike anything that the quintet have released before, but hidden under the catchy chorus is a secret plea for help written by frontman, Zech Pluister, after he realised the lyrics he had written were clear signs that he was struggling with his mental health. The song juxtaposes this idea of struggling internally whilst the melody perfectly symbolises putting on a smile for everyone on the outside.
Although ‘Pride & Disaster’ is evidently about personal growth and celebrating both the good and bad sides to life, it’s first and foremost a pop-punk record, so sing-along lyrics and catchy hooks are consistent throughout. ‘Babe Ruth’ has a much more contemporary feel to it, similar to that of State Champs, but it’s easy to guess this will be a standout hit at shows.
Creating a nostalgic feeling, ‘After Tonight’ is a tongue-in-cheek number showing off the band’s playful side. It’s reminiscent of the music you would have heard back in Fall Out Boy‘s pre-hiatus prime, but Pluister‘s vocals give it a sound that make them completely hold their own identity.
As with any band from this genre, it wouldn’t really be an album without some form of homage to their hometown, and ‘Logan Square’ does this perfectly as their own personal love song to the city of Chicago, Illinois.
It’s fair to say that ‘Pride & Disaster’ could very easily be the best pop-punk album to come out of 2019. It’s one that will resonate a lot to older fans of the genre as they’ve consciously steered away from happy-go-lucky hits, and instead have created relatable songs that possess a theme of real-life growing pains that many will associate with.
Sleep On It have created an authentic grown up pop-punk record, and it’s definitely no stretch of the imagination to see this as the first big push to them becoming prime names in their world.