The Sleeping

Believe What We Tell You

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Emo bands usually slot into two categories -- fabulous or intolerable, with little room to maneuver in between -- but few manage to be both at once quite like the Sleeping. On their 2004 debut, Believe What We Tell You, the Long Island natives never notch a single, double, or triple; they either smack one out of the park or strike out completely. Ultra-predictable opener "Sunday Matinee (Reel to Reel)" is definitely a strikeout, and so are the yawn-inducing meander of "The Big Breakdown -- Day 2" and its cleverly titled but similarly rambling and arty companion, "If Your Heart Was Broken...You Would Be Dead." Conversely, the energetic "One Flight One Flame" dips into the group's prevalent hardcore and metal nuances with excellent results, and the title track is punctuated by a fantastic melodic figure from guitarist Cameron Keym. In fact, he is clearly the star of the Sleeping, and if their songwriting should catch up to his inventive playing, there's definite promise ahead for the band.

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