ANMLPLNET - Fall Asleep - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

ANMLPLNET - Fall Asleep

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:8 Release Date:2018-04-20
ANMLPLNET - Fall Asleep
ANMLPLNET - Fall Asleep

Long time mates guitarist Leah Wellbaum (Slothrust) and drummer Mickey Vershbow, who met through the Boston music scene, finally and amazingly found time to put together a collection of songs that underscore their psychedelic dream pop moniker, an album titled Fall Asleep. The half dozen numbers, one of which is a two minute instrumental, clock in at a surprising thirty-four minutes, allowing for them to embrace their goal of bridging the chasm between songwriting and improvisation. It’s an interesting attempt, at times compelling while at other times sounding exactly like improvised rehearsal. Even still, these are two very talented musicians, so this is no sloppy or half-assed bit of artistic self-indulgence.

Opening track “I Was Fucked By A Cloud” starts dreamily, Wellbaum’s soft jazzy riffing barely rising above the whispered drums, before the onslaught. The song ends on a Hendrix-ian wah-pedal infused freak out. It leads into “20,000 Leagues Underneath the Serpent,” which thematically could be merely an extension of the previous song. This isn’t accidental, as the duo sought to play songs straight through with no breaks.

The highlights are “All the Butterflies,” a flat-out great song and easily the most upbeat number on the set, and a cover of a Lana del Rey penned number “Ride.” Another is “Elephants Aren’t So Big.” While the lyrics are at times bizarre, they seem almost purposefully confounding, yet another design of the band. The overarching theme that rings through for me is a sense of those mid-70s Pink Floyd albums that were mostly comprised of long, meandering, and even melancholy songs  (Wish You Were Here and Animals). Just to clarify, my favorite Floyd album of all time is Animals. 

To that end, this is a lazy, stoned collection that grows on you with repeated listens. I find a strange compelling quality to Wellbaum’s flat delivery and her guitar work to be excellent. There’s plenty of her instrumental virtuosity on display here, which makes it worth a listen for that alone, and Vershbow fills out the bottom with perfect tempo, maintaining the delicate balance between quiet noodlings and distorted noise rock. Worth a listen. 

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