If you’re familiar with the dark ambient rock of Mick Moss’s band Antimatter, then the tone of his new project will be familiar from the get-go.
Just like Antimatter, Sleeping Pulse feature melancholy melodic passes, thick and heavy guitar riffs and, of course, Moss’ unmistakable vocals themselves, like a gloomier Eddie Vedder. There’s also an air of electronic experimentation here, with distorted voices and bass-heavy electronic beats featuring frequently. But although Under The Same Sky is a complex listen, it has little in the way of emotional variation. Songs are soaked in a seemingly never-ending sense of despair (the song titles here include Backfire, Gagging Order and Parasite). The melodies are forlorn, the keys are minor and over nine tracks, the nagging anguish becomes almost too much to bear, and only then does the frankly depressing title track hove into view. Sleeping Pulse are at their best when they up the heaviness, layer on varieties of sounds and textures, and are more assertive than drippy, as on the powerful Foreign Body, or Noose’s thick groove. There’s plenty of potential here, but trimming the fat would do Moss the world of good.