The Fall-Outs

Sleep

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The second album by the Fall-Outs (there's also a singles compilation), 1995's Sleep ratchets up the tension that had been evident in the Seattle punk-popsters' earlier releases. From the near-paranoid title track all the way to the plaintive closing "I Wish You'd Come Back," these 13 songs marry bad-vibes lyrics to anguished vocals in a style more in keeping with the then-emergent emo underground than with the tra-la-la bubble-punk of their earlier contemporaries. On the other hand, the songs themselves are still in the bash 'em out style of old Undertones or Buzzcocks records, which gives the album an odd but interesting tension. Singer and primary songwriter Dave Holmes sounds well pissed off throughout the album, in a manner reminiscent of Paul Westerberg's Tim-era snarling. The sneering "Zombie," which was released as a single, is the high point, although the nearly hopeless "Doesn't Help at All" is a strong second. With all the bad juju underscoring this album, it's not really surprising that the Fall-Outs took a nine year break before they would record a follow-up.

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