Sleep Station

Sleep Station are a three-piece band based mostly around the songwriting efforts of one Dave Debiak. They are on Eyeball Records (you know, the home of Murder by Death and The Tiny and former home of My Chemical Romance and Thursday), but don't hold some of those bands against them. I am not quite sure who to compare them to; the first thing that comes to mind is Matt Pond PA, although that isn't quite right. I first heard them while randomly downloading tracks by Eyeball bands after being impressed by the first Murder by Death LP.

All Sleep Station records are concept albums, which, despite being kind of pretentious, works out pretty well for them. Their first release was a Debiak-only solo record called Anhedonia, based around a fairly obscure medical condition (defined as an inability to experience pleasure), which, as far as I can tell, has been out of print for quite some time. I've never really made the attempt to find a copy, honestly, but that's my impression.

The next record, and the first I heard, was Runaway Elba-1, a concept album about a lonely engineer who builds a female cyborg companion, and the ensuing chaos as they flee his employer, who wants to reclaim their property (the she-cyborg). Yes, I know, that sounds Yoshimi-level ridiculous, but it's really got a number of lovely songs, including this gem, entitled "Frustration of Leaving."

Sleep Station - Frustration of Leaving

Their next record was 2003's Hang in There, Charlie, about a pair of astronauts who are sent into space only to discover that one of them will not be returning home. It too is a pretty great record, containing a number of extremely well-written songs, including this one:

Sleep Station - Broke Your Trust (external -- on the Eyeball Records site)

Hot on Charlie's heels came the internet-only Von Cosel EP, which used to be available here, though apparently the server is down for the time being (hopefully not permanently) and 2004's After the War, which sold better than previous efforts and also garnered the band more attention. I can't say I like it as much as their other albums, but I am in the minority on that.

Though Sleep Station still exist, Debiak's other band, the heavily 80's-influenced New London Fire, seems to have consumed most of his time for the last couple years. They aren't bad, though I have to admit, I wish he'd go back to Sleep Station. Fortunately, that seems likely this year. Despite the fact that neither the band's website nor the label's have said much in quite some time, their PureVolume site has two demo tracks from one of (apparently) two forthcoming Sleep Station projects. The second one, "Settle on Your Name," is particularly good.

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