Little Chino In Slumberland
The long delayed Self-titled Team Sleep album has finally surfaced and it was well worth the wait. Team Sleep is the brainchild of Deftones turntablist DJ Crook and lead singer Chino Moreno along with guitarist Todd Wilkinson. Originally, this album was slated for release before the Deftonesâ€šÃ„Ã´ self-titled 2003 album. However, those Terry Date sessions famously leaked on the Internet. The at-that-time unfinished album was indefinitely shelved. Now, in 2005 the album is polished and completed (minus a song featuring Mike Patton).In context, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s a shame the album didnâ€šÃ„Ã´t come out earlier. The dreamy clean guitars and lush electronic atmospherics could have served as perfect extension for fans eager for more of the lighter side of White Pony. No matter though, Team Sleep is downtempo with a flair for patience. Each song finds a distinctive pace and locks into unrolling thick blankets of feeling. Chinoâ€šÃ„Ã´s voice glides jet-like through these billowy masses of music on tracks like â€šÃ„ÃºEver Since WWIâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºEver (Foreign Flag).â€šÃ„Ã¹ Occasionally, like on the menacing â€šÃ„ÃºLive From The Stageâ€šÃ„Ã¹ Wilkinson makes sparse use of his distortion pedal, but mainly guides everything with minimal melodic lines. DJ Crookâ€šÃ„Ã´s beats and Zach Hillâ€šÃ„Ã´s drumming are simple and dexterous, punctuating the drone-accompanied piano on â€šÃ„ÃºAtaraxiaâ€šÃ„Ã¹ with just the right sense of urgency.
Pinbackâ€šÃ„Ã´s Rob Crow also lends vocals including to the excellent â€šÃ„ÃºOur Ride To The Rectory.â€šÃ„Ã¹ The only weak moments found here are the songs featuring vocals from Heliumâ€šÃ„Ã´s Mary Timony. Her voice is far from bad, but these songs seem to demand a more striking tone rather than a stoic one. Regardless, this is a solid debut for Team Sleep.