Brain rattler. So What?
After crowdfunding and releasing their previous album, You Are We, on the band’s own ‘Sleeps Brothers’ label, While She Sleeps have been riding a high. Basking in the success of this record with award nominations from the likes of Metal Hammer and a win in the ‘Best Album of the Year’ category at the Heavy Music Awards, this album even managed to land a Top 10 place on the UK album charts. Pretty good going, if you ask me! Now it was time for the band to knuckle down and work on an album to follow up this masterpiece.
With So What? it feels like the band have delivered again. Their latest record arrives with clattering riffs, bruising breakdowns, snarling lyrics and big-ass sing-alongs. With power as energetic as thrash metal and a jagged delivery that emulates math rock, every song on this album offers something a little different. They’ve honed a sound that is, and has been growing over the course of their past few albums, undeniably Sleeps.
This record takes innovation to exciting realms: when you think the song can’t go anywhere more explosive, it finds a whole new place to jump to. The melodies that hang between the chugs are beautiful and almost blend into the hypnotic. There is a beat that runs through the heart of this album and it really helps it inhale and exhale – culminating in moments that make you feel as though you are about to take off. An album that will take you to the four corners; as you listen you’ll tumble through this meticulously crafted labyrinth.
However, at the same time, there are flashes in some of the songs that drop-off – in a positive way – and give you the sensation of floating on water. Calm and serene one minute, mind-fracturing the next; the fluctuating rushes of this album play with your adrenalin – my hand’s are shaking as I am writing this. This album evokes an odd sensation, it is a series of frequencies that demands you to fuck shit up and get the fuck out at the same time.
To experience this new material live at one of their gigs must be warfare. I have seen the band on their previous tours and I must confess… it is utter carnage. So What? seems to have bottled the sheer power found at the centre of their mosh pits and evolved it into a sonic form.
4/5 Bytes. Alfie Emery.