The scorching chords and pop-punk vocals on "A Separate Lid Behind Closed Eyes" showcase the Winnipeg, Canada, band's fresh sound. The 12 tracks that follow solidify opinions from numerous rock critics who have praised the Bonaduces' relentless, yet controlled, musical energy. The band skips by Green Day and Saves the Day comparisons and creates their own playful brand of pop-punk. The metaphors on "Bee-Sting Necklace" and "Eyes As Black As Blueberries" highlight Doug McLean's thoughtful and earnest songwriting. All along, guitarist Michael Koop, bassist Bob Somers, and drummer Chris Hiebert add a gritty, punk-fueled foundation to the songs. While the band is generally playful and aggressive in their tones and lyrical topics, bittersweet and reflective themes appear on "Bomb Threat at Montgomery High" and "The Songs We Knew Best." Festive vocal melodies appear on many of the songs, adding another dynamic to the already dynamic quartet. Things slow down on the disc's final track, "Damage Deposit," with Lloyd Peterson performing on a somber guest piano and Allison Shevernoha and John Samson adding guest vocals to the ballad. The Democracy of Sleep was recorded in the summer of 1998 at Private Ear Studios in Winnipeg and was released on Endearing Records later that year.
The Democracy of Sleep Review
by Stephen Cramer