Sleepy People - Blunt Nails In A Sharp Wall

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Org Records
Catalog Number: ORG073CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:50:00

In reading the press sheets that came along with this disc, here's a quick summary on who/what Sleepy People are/is. In the early 90s the folks in this band got together, but later split into to separate groups. One half remained Sleepy People, and another called itself Pop-A-Cat-A-Petal, later becoming Ultrasound. Vocalist Tiny Wood was one those that splintered off into Ultrasound, and this disk was recorded before the split, around 1993/1994.

Tiny has a good voice with an odd waver that gives it a quirky feel. Which is fitting, as the music itself is rather quirky. No, there are times where it is downright weird. There is a punk groove to the opener "Mr. Marconi's Unusual Theory," though the outro is classically influenced.

Musically, there are simlarities to bands such as Genesis, European progressive, a bit of neo. The flute trills of Rachel Theresa on "Heroes And Sheroes" is very Jethro Tull like in its tone, if not in its approach - it's a bit lighter than Anderson's flute style.

"Strawberries" is a prog blues number, with swirling keyboards (Pete Haslem), and then we go into a punk meets The Sweet kinda of groove, and then to a late 60's sounding tune.

Disco comes back with "Sordid Sentimental" - funky bass (Richard Green), a simple twisting flute phrase - think "The Hustle." The vocal sections head it in a slightly different direction, more pop, but each time returning to the disco between versus. Oh, then there's the violin (Johnny Abbott) and keys section, where each a playing a low key manner, quite unlike disco. And, coming out quite nice for all that.

Each track is diverse and unlike the one before or after it, except for that classic prog influence, as mentioned above. The words go by so fast, and aren't included, that I can't really tell you what he's singing about after only these first few listens.

Once you accept this as being a bit off kilter, you see past this to find that this is really very good prog, meeting almost all the needs of neo-prog fans. You'll hear the influences, though there are mixed together enough to become its own entity in and of itself. An interesting disc.

Mr. Marconi's Unusual Theory (4:01) / Heroes And Sheroes (4:46) / Strawberries (7:04) / Sordid Sentimental (5:01) / Invisible Wires (4:24) / Nicky's Little Army (6:54) / Rare Bird At The Window (8:40)

Tiny Wood - vocals
Paul Hope - guitar
Rachel Theresa - flute and vocals
Richard Green - bass
Andy Peace - drums (2, 6)
Graeme Swaddle - drums (3, 7)
Kerry Harrison - drums (1, 4, 5)
Liz Wardby - keyboards (1, 2, 4 - 6)
Pete Haslem - keyboards (3, 7)
Jonny Abbott - violin and trombone (1, 4, 5)

Blunt Nails In A Sharp Wall (1994/1999)
Typhoid & Swans (1997)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: October 1st 1999
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 836
Language: english


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