There's no lack of ambition on One Life Animal's Sleep and His Older Brother Death

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Sleep and His Older Brother Death (Independent)

No one will accuse One Life Animal of lacking ambition on its debut outing, the mystical Sleep and His Older Brother Death. Those who do all their music shopping on Bandcamp will discover the promise of a concept album that includes 11 tracks, two bonus B-sides, liner notes, lyrics, and a “poster with the mythology of Sleep and Death”.

Consider that fair warning that One Life Animal has aimed a little higher than finding the missing link between Green Day and the Ramones. Instead, the sound here is proggy in the best of ways, giving you a good idea what Tool might have sounded like if it had come up in grunge-era Seattle with a singer (Tocha Restrepo) who has just the right mix of technical skill and tuff-leather snarl.

While the band obviously has plenty of technical ability (check out guitarist Tom McIlveen’s tasteful atmospherics in the middle of “First Last Gasp”), the songs come first here, whether the group is diving into the mosh pit for the neck-snapping “Pandora” or unleashing its inner goth on “Sweet Sting”.

As for what happens at the end of Sleep and His Older Brother Death, One Life Animal establishes itself as a band that Scrape Records frequent fliers will want to keep an eye on. As for that whole shuffling-off-this-mortal-coil thing: do you really want to know what happens seconds after you draw your last breath? If so…

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