Duuuuuuuuude. Can you imagine the scene: you’re chilling with your mates, you’re engaging in a bit of puff puff smoke and having a great old time celebrating 4/20 with a couple bonks on the zoot when you discover SLEEP have dropped a new album! Holy smokes. That’s awesome.
Sleep were last active back in 2003 with the release of the monolithic Dopesmoker but seemed compelled to celebrate the day of sniffing grass in 2018 with a surprise in the form of The Sciences. What have Sleep learned in the 18 years they were away? Nothing. Just keep doing the same thing, and that’s all you could ever want. Once the three minutes of set up in the title track kicks off the record, the album is then allowed to get underway.
‘Marijuanaut’s Theme’ is a monstrous six minutes of Desert rock goodness. I grew up adoring the likes of Kyuss and Clutch and everything about this song brings me back to those days – huge, drawn out guitars are given all the time in the world to forge a world full of sand and smoke, immediately showing that the band have not forgotten about their days of Sleep’s Holy Mountain. This largely instrumental track is bolstered with forever crashing drums and brief moments of vocals that are pretty incoherent for the most part. It’s confusing, it’s perplexing, but it’s Sleep, so it’s great.
The Sciences is a fantastic album. Sleep have kept to their roots and ensured to create a record that showcases their immense songwriting skills which excuses the need for lyricism and instead shines a light on the pure power that comes from good Desert Rock music. The middle block of ‘Sonic Titan’, ‘Antarcticans Thawed’ and ‘Giza Butler’ is a behemoth of sound but one that feels so good to be crushed by. What a great album.