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Sleeping in Vilna - Why Waste Time

Bartosz Adamczak, (Free) Jazz Alchemist

Sleeping In Vilna's "Why Waste Time" is one of those recordings that caught me by surprise. Even no expectations whatsover can't prepare you for the music on this album. The cd juggles styles and moods without any regard for genres, musical labels or cohesity. 

The cd starts with "Let Nobody", after a few mysterious, eerie notes the band breaks into a simple punk rhythm with bass clarinet giving the push. As suddenly as it started, it stops, to wield the space for surreal and lyrical "Million Knots". Hard rock riff, and rock rap of "Entropy" (featuring some fantastic pecussion playing - light yet groovy). Melancholic, pensieve "Angels Crazy" soothes your senses with modest melody swaying delicately, based on a singular bass clarinet note. "Why Waste Time" circles, tense yet focused, on a repetitive guitar chord figure while the "Past Chaser" let the tension out with shout out lyrics and rhythmical, mechanical groove of screeches and wails. We're about a half into the cd...

The compact form of the songs (most of them between 2 and 3 minutes long) don't leave much space for any instrumental extravaganza but all four members of the band have their strong impact on the sound, whether it's floating guitar, delicate clarinet musings and subtle drumbeat or fuzzy riff, crying bass clairnet and hard hit on the tom. Mike Ladd's voice can be both poetically delicate as well as theatrically expressive. If you're looking for any musical relatives for this band you might start with Tom Waits.

"Why Waste Time" jumps back and forth between creepy and soothing, surreal and raw, subtle and direct with a sort of dirty pleasure. It's theatrical, slightly absurd, and captivating. For the 13 songs and 37 minutes they keep your attention, fuel your curiosity the way you never know what to expect for the next minute.

Sleeping in Vilna may care less about particular style throughout but truth be told, every particular track of this album has its own form and structure. You'll find echoes of punk, rap, poetry, rock cabaret, improv and more, but if this is a musical anarchy, it's a very thoughtful one.

A wonderfully weird creation. Love it.