Team Sleep – Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 4

team sleep woodstock sessions album cover 2015

There is a funny thing about cult bands; they rarely ever follow the script you want them to. Team Sleep, notable for a strong group of players led by Chino Moreno (Deftones, Crosses) busted out 10 years ago with a debut album that was long on quality shoegaze, electronica and dreamy synth-pop. Like a weird post-pop rock, Team Sleep made pretty music that just stuck with you. Pulled apart again by other commitments after a brief tour and only coming together in bits and pieces over the year, the band rumbled back to life earlier this year. With a successful Pledge Music campaign to reignite the fans and the promise of new music in the future, the result was the quirky and special live performance of Woodstock Sessions, Vol. 4.

It seems odd that a band that has been more or less dormant for a decade would take the trouble to reunite, only to do a small performance in front of an intimate audience. What has been born out of these Woodstock Sessions recordings at Applehead Studios (Coheed & Cambria, Bad Brains) in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, seems to be special. Perhaps it is the setting, but I tend to think the artists themselves bring something to the table too. For Team Sleep, that something is a cinematic vision and that a song is never truly finished after recording, rather just beginning. The band deconstructed many of the their original tracks and explored new ways to present them. ‘OP’, ‘Live From The Stage’, ‘Death By Plane’, ‘Blvd. Nights’, and ‘Princeton Review’, all taking on some new hues and shapes that surprise and refresh your memory of those first demos.


Team Sleep band photo 2015


Another great convention breaker is some of the players have swapped positions. Chino, DJ Crook, Todd Wilkinson hold their own, while Chuck Doom has moved over to bass, allowing Rick Verrett to man the keys and synths full-time. Joining on drums is Gil Sharone (Stolen Babies, Marilyn Manson Dillinger Escape Plan). Moreno, like his contemporaries Mike Patton and Maynard James Keenan, won’t be painted into a corner artistically. The idea that Team Sleep in this incarnation will make a new album is exciting news.