After the War
First Appeared in The Music Box, June 2004, Volume 11, #6
Written by John Metzger
Like Ryan Adams, Sleep Stationís David Debiak is an absurdly prolific songwriter. Unlike Adams, Debiak provides a far more thematic focus for his work. Indeed, each of his bandís previous outings ambitiously has revolved around a singular concept: Hang in There Charlie, for example, told a harrowing tale of a rescue attempt aboard a dilapidated space station while the groupís latest endeavor After the War examines the emotions of a soldier sent to fight the German forces in the early í40s as well as the family he left behind. All of the requisite hopes, fears, isolation, and yearning waft through the lyrics as the songs whirl past like a series of exchanged letters that, in essence, captures the fatalistic sense of purpose that combat brings.
Where most songwriters struggle with the words, however, Debiakís weakness is his music. On the surface, heís equally adventurous in this regard ó drawing liberally from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Who (among others) while draping his arrangements in the contemporary sounds of Weezer, Foo Fighters, and Goo Goo Dolls. Although he occasionally does find a slice of melodic splendor that mirrors the sentiments of his storyline, much of After the War drifts merrily along with generally pleasing, if not entirely resonant, results. Simply put, Pink Floyd has covered the same ground in much better fashion, and despite its lofty goals, Sleep Station just isnít there ó yet. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box