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Are You Sleepy?

The Gerbils

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Album Review

At this point in time, listener tolerance for yet another record from the Elephant 6 sphere is going to depend almost completely on the individual's appetite for the fuzzy, noisy pop aesthetic which connects the label's multiplying releases together — if you already like Neutral Milk Hotel or the Olivia Tremor Control, then Are You Sleepy? is most definitely for you. While the Gerbils don't really push any of the boundaries already staked out by their E-6 brethren, their debut explores new and intriguing variations on the established themes; offering a lighter, more whimsical worldview than most of their labelmates, the group's songs — most notably "Sunshine Soul," "Is She Fiona?" and the sublime "Crayon Box" — are also unexpectedly emotionally direct, wrapped in ringing guitars that suggest the Byrds with blown amps. While not the best place for new listeners to dig in, it's another must-own for the Elephant 6 faithful.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Athens, GA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Athens, Georgia-based Gerbils emerged as part of the second wave of bands linked to the Elephant 6 Recording Company collective, a coterie of like-minded, lo-fi indie groups — including the Apples (in stereo), Neutral Milk Hotel and the Olivia Tremor Control — who shared musicians, ideas and sensibilities. The Gerbils comprised singer/guitarist Scott Spillane, drummer John D'Azzo and bassist Will Westbrook, who together attended grade school in the Elephant 6 breeding grounds of Ruston,...
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Are You Sleepy?, The Gerbils
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Contemporaries