On October 21st, Sleep On It released their third EP Lost Along the Way. This new release followed up 2015’s Safe Again and 2014’s Everything, All at Once. Earlier this year, the band welcomed new vocalist Zech Pluister by releasing the single “Burning at Both Ends”. Pluister’s vocals are much stronger than those of the band’s original vocalist, ditching a whiny pop punk sound for gruff yet melodic and powerful vocals.
Soon thereafter, Sleep On It announced that they were signed by Equal Vision Records, leading up to the release of Lost Along the Way. Starting with the first few bars of “Counting Miles”, you can hear that the production values have improved tenfold over the band’s self-released music. The mix is full, with solid low end, tight bass and drums, and beautiful sounding guitars.
Another bright point to note is that the vocal arrangement is exquisite. Dueling vocals, harmonies, and powerful doubling are all used appropriately throughout the EP to highlight the lyrics in key parts of the songs.
Guitarists TJ Horansky and Jake Marquis compliment each other well, each providing a solid midrange over bassist AJ Khah and drummer Luka Fischman’s tight rhythm section. Before Pluister joined the band, the foundation was there… The band was only lacking the final element to tie the pieces together and provide the final touch.
While “Counting Miles” and “With Friends Like You, Who Needs Friends?” kick off the EP with high energy anthemic choruses, “See You Around” takes a turn and shows the band’s more sensitive side. The song seems to discuss mistakes the band have made in their personal lives, which can be seen in “your silence is so loud, there’s a buzz in my head from what you never said. I’ll be seeing you around. . . I know that you’ll never let this go.”
At first, “Unspoken” seems to be going the same way as “See You Around”, but one quickly realized that the song is more introspective, reflecting on inner peace and battling one’s demons or losing oneself. I can safely say these are some of the best lyrics I have heard in a pop punk song in a very long time.
“Let Me Go” is a strong song, but production wise seems a bit rushed. Overall it is still extremely well done, but certain elements in the mix don’t sit quite right. The vocal transition from intro to first verse and pumping guitars which distract from the listening experience come to mind, as well as the key change at the three minute mark. The band might have been better off dropping the fifth song and letting the EP stand on its first four well produced "legs".
Sleep On It – Lost Along the Way album info
Overall, Lost Along the Way is an extremely well done EP, and I highly recommend it. It is available now on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and more. You can visit the band’s website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.