The term "power trio" was made for groups like The Big Sleep. It's the only way to describe music this visceral.
The Big Sleep is capable of quiet moments, and bassist Sonya Balchandani's plaintive vocals lend some warmth to the slower songs. The band's strength lies in its instrumental breaks, though, from Gabe Rhodes' tireless drum pounding to the distorted virtuosity of guitarist/show-stealer Danny Barria The kid is a near-prodigy, fully comfortable with switching between screeching solos, fuzzed-out riffing, and Radiohead-like experimentalism. Melodies and lyrics simply aren't needed when you've got someone like this aboard, and The Big Sleep rides the combined powers of these three post-rockers for all it's worth.
- Andrew Leahey
The Big Sleep began in a tiny apartment in New York with two friends playing around with a keyboard and a guitar. It was an attempt to make a vision materialize. It is still that. An EP was recorded, shows were played, more music was recorded, and drummers came and went until the third one, the charm. And the result is beautifully diametric: sweeping and grandiose yet also immediate and electrifying. A big sound, yes, but if truly understood, it is honest, and full of heart and no small amount of fist-pumping.
It started off as a purely instrumental undertaking out of a respect for the emotional potential of music, just music, and a desire not to be a slave to expectations--of what constitutes a song, or where the feeling of a rock song is (it's in the guitar!), or what can be moving. But limitations of any variety can cause consternation, and music makes its own demands. Inevitably, songs came along that seemed to be right with a voice here and there. And so it happens that there are songs with voices and songs without, on a case by case basis, on the strength of a collective intuition. It's a small matter in the minds of the creators, but one that seems to cause confusion from time to time. Simply put, the songs are what they are: the best effort of three small people to make something big.