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Team Sleep

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Album Review

Team Sleep's debut was in the works for a long time — something like ten years. Head Deftone Chino Moreno used to do four-track stuff with high-school pal Todd Wilkinson, and those casual recordings essentially were the genesis for this self-titled set of modernized mood music. The indie rock and dream pop influences drifting throughout Team Sleep appear in Moreno's day job, too, but barring a few stretches here and there ("Blvd. Nights," the end of "Live from the Stage"), hardness and volume are left largely to the Deftones. In fact, besides Moreno's distinctive vocals, there's little connectivity to his other band. There doesn't need to be. Team Sleep is its own thing, a drifting fog of electronic and analog texture with a pool of interesting collaborators and the distinct feel of late-'80s/early-'90s alternative rock. (Team Sleep could probably do an awesome cover version of Catherine Wheel's "Black Metallic.") So, while "Your Skull Is Red" channels Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine underneath Moreno's plaintive wail, "Delorian" and "Staring at the Queen'" are instrumentals built from Wilkinson's spiny guitar leads and the ultramodern programming/turntablism of Crook. Pinback's Rob Crow contributes vocals on four songs, and while he's not as fervent as Moreno, he does give "Princeton Review" and "Ever Since WWI" an indie rock quality that works with their tense guitars. Mary Timony also guests, co-writing "Tomb of Liegia" with Wilkinson and Crook and matching her famously austere vocal to its chilly electronics and lingering piano figure. Her duet of sorts with Moreno on the beat-damaged "King Diamond" isn't as successful, but it's still a noble experiment on an album full of them. And though Team Sleep occasionally becomes too much of a mood album when its layering gets out of hand, it's a consistently interesting listen.

Customer Reviews

these robots have you ordered around here...

You might want to try and put Team Sleep into a box. Their sound has been described as mixing elements of ambient, hip-hop, shoegaze and psychedelia but please put aside all preconceptions; Team Sleep is whatever you experience as a consequence of listening to their extraordinary music. There's just something so utterly otherworldly about what Team Sleep do on this album: the only other musical outfit I can think of who mange to do a similar sort of strange and arcane thing with building mood and atmosphere is Boards of Canada - I used to fall asleep listening to Music Has The Right To Children and always woke up in a cold sweat from some bizarre and unremembered nightmare. Team Sleep similarly operate in a ghostly, twilit kingdom of their own, wandering the deserted streets of your imaginings long before dawn. True, I came to this album as many surely did being fans of the Deftones, but there is little metal bluster here; Chino wanders through this record like some oracle sent from a distant time; his vocals and melodies are smudged and indistinct, and these are conunterbalanced by his musical colloaborators in these arcane twisty vistas and nightime atmospherics. A personal favourite has to be the track Elizabeth, where Rob Crow's vocals paint an extrordinary, mysterious picture that shifts and changes depending on whatever you think he's singing about. If that's not enough weirdness in itself then there's Mary Timony's Mogadon'ed murder ballad Tomb of Liegia, the space-rock expanse of Your Skull Is Red and the sheer creepiness of Our Ride To The Rectory, where Crow and Moreno weave a oblique story that sonically resembles a tale of the end of the world. If you want to listen to music that's so out of step with current fads as to be miles ahead of everyone else, then just check out this album. You can't put Team Sleep into a box. But don't say I didn't warn you: you may never forget it as long as you live.

Aptly named artist.

If you need chillout without ambient trance/dance, this rock band is for you. Merited in their own right, Deftones' front man Chino does it best when he's soothing you into a cacophony of mood altering music. One listen and almost anyone will find something here for them. Highlights are when Chino does the vocals, however not so fluid when other members take their turn infront of the mic. Word of mouth brought them to my attention. I'm delighted to pass it on.


beautiful, epic, romantic, and moving record. one of my favourite albums of all time. the emotion and song writing on show is breath-taking. buy!!


Formed: 2000 in Sacramento, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

After the success of the Deftones' third album, The White Pony, singer Chino Moreno announced his intentions to tackle a new project and take time off from his band. This project ended up becoming Team Sleep, a band made up of vocalist Moreno, turntablist DJ Crook, and guitarist Todd Wilkinson. Wilkinson was a childhood friend of Moreno's, and in fact had never played on an album before. The group tried to blend the moody heaviness of Moreno's other group with the heady beats of Massive Attack. They...
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Team Sleep, Team Sleep
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