Friday, April 25, 2008

Album Review - Sleepercar

Sleepercar – West Texas
[Doghouse Records; 22/04/08]

Jim Ward has always threatened to dabble into the World of alternative country music. Although releasing his debut solo EP last year, his Sleepercar project has been in the works since the days of At The Drive In. The results end in the band’s debut album, West Texas.

With the sounds of Wilco heavily in the mix, Sleepercar is Jim Ward’s way of an outlet from the rigours of his main priority these days that is Sparta. Jeff Tweedy is all over ‘Heavy Weights’ and ‘Wednesday Nights’, despite Ward delivering the respective tracks with gusto. His band mates get into the action throughout the album, too with ‘Wasting My Time’ and ‘Fences Down’ decreasing the tempo bringing more of a country feel towards things.

In terms of quantity, Jim Ward’s Quiet EP has more of an alt-country feel to it as apposed to Sleepercar’s West Texas, with the latter sounding like a Sparta off-cuts album from time to time. Opener, ‘A Broken Promise’ and ‘Sound the Alarm’ both lead this notion, with Ward’s vocals along with the top-heavy chord progressions rising to prominence.

Overall, there’s something in this for followers of Sparta and At The Drive, but personally, I’m much more intrigued in what Ward has to offer on a solo front as apposed to throwing a couple of various El Paso hombres into the studio like he has done to release this latest batch of songs.

By Simon K

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