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The Sindicate release new album Sleepwalker

What the world needs now is not love sweet love, what it needs is bands that can make dynamic music! It is not often I come across a band or album which I find myself, well, impressed with… The Sindicate impressed me. The band released their new album Sleepwalker Friday at the Star Theatre.

After having lived in California for a number of years and consequently having my ears flooded with every Sublime acolyte who could form a band I am always a bit leery of reggae bands. The first track on Sleepwalker dispelled any fears I may have had. I could immediately tell that this group of guys not only had a diverse range of influences but that they  were proficient at channeling them into their own music. The cherry on top was that they did it well. Each track has a really balanced blend on genres ranging from fairly straight forward reggae sounds to what I would say sounded like early Stones/ early punk stuff. As each track played I was quite pleased to hear very dynamic and diverse sounds in each individual song. Songs like Zombie evoke a sense of mystery and suspense almost like you’re tip toeing through some foggy graveyard at night while the very next song RB-HB feels more like a small Californian beach town on a sunny afternoon. Each song has its own vibe to the point it doesn’t feel like they took the same music and simply repackaged it with different lyrics. The work put into these songs shows. The band describes themselves as “reggae rock” and I would say that’s quite accurate. 

The overall dynamics of the album are similarly silky smooth. The placement of each track is very well done so that listening straight through the album feels like a musical journey. I was very impressed with how the album achieves a sort of roller coaster effect and does what a good album should do. It take you on a journey down through valleys and up through mountains.

The Sindicate and their team did a great job on this album on both a micro and macro level. The band shows excellent musicianship in a genre which is too often scabbed over with repetitive sounds. The band just embarked on a tour, but catch them when they return to Portland. In the meantime, listen to their new album here.

-Cory Huennekens

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