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Sleeves: Broken Everything

Broken Everything is the latest 3-track EP by Cincinati's Sleeves

When I reviewed Sleeve's album Sex Is Stupid back in May, I wondered if they might turn out to be some kind of a one-off band and if I might never hear from them again.

How glad I am to be wrong - again.

Not only did Sleeves do a residency at The Comet in July, but they just released their second EP, Broken Everything, recorded at The Ice Cream Factory.

Much like Sex is Stupid, Broken Everything is dirty, noisy and has everything an underground recording should have. If you're looking for masterful production and pristine engineering, you won't find it here. But what you will find in Broken Everything are three tracks that strive to capture the deliciously raw and imperfect atmosphere of the live experience.

Anyone familiar with Sleeves will immediately be able to recognize the sound and style of the band and their succinct song-forms -- nothing over three and a half minutes. But what is new this time around is a greater incorporation of other elements, such as keyboards and sampling.

While the first track, "Tease," maintains the continuity of gritty old-school punk that got Sleeves noticed in the first place, "I'm Done" becomes a more cerebral exploration- it is less of a song and more of an assemblage. The heavy echo and distortion of the vocals combined with the odd clips of audio remind me a bit of the type of songs you might expect from Gazer or Public Housing

The EP ends with a wicked cover of Devo's first-ever single, "Mongoloid." Though I hate to make a cover song my "favorite of the week," Sleeves do enough of an edgy revision to make the new-wave classic recognizable, but are still able to put their own ugly spin on it.

If your music collection includes Sex Is Stupid then you'll probably want to pick up Broken Everything as well. I believe that during their July residency, by being able to play more frequently and to hone their sound, Sleeves is coming into their own and are claiming their rightful place in the local scene -- not as an "insta-band," but simply as a good, loud, raw, dark-energy band.

I like that they are releasing their music in quick, short bursts. It gives the music a sense of immediacy and unpolished honesty. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.  

Broken Everything by Sleeves is available as a name-your-price download from Bandcamp