Not even Fall Out Boy can “Save Rock and Roll,” but if Cinema Sleep is the future of post-hardcore rock, then all the Converse-loving, band shirt-wearing rocker kids will no longer have to borrow their parents’ old records. Cinema Sleep’s new album Truth for the Seeker is modern yet relevant and very unique, with a ’90s rock feel, classic rock guitar soloing, and sporadic hints of jazz.
Cinema Sleep (Standby Records) is a relatively new band, founded in early 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Lead singer Brady Reis brings a guttural ’90s feel to their vocals while their lead guitarist and keyboardist, Alex Asch, gives them their jazz influence. The band’s revival of classic rock is refreshing and their sound cohesive, but stylistically they have room for growth as some of their songs lack unity.
Truth for the Seeker opens up with the song “Wild Card.” It’s catchy with strong guitar riffs and a perfect feel-good concert beat. With a simple yet effective bridge and spot-on guitar soloing, “Wild Card” makes me nostalgic in the best way possible.
What confuses me is the next song, “Inside My Hands.” By just the opening, you can tell it’s more modern with a different feel than “Wild Card.” The classic guitar soloing is still there, but halfway through the song, some minor screaming takes place and then it takes another turn, incorporating jazzy sounds. Every sound they utilize indicates profession and skill, but the jump from screaming to jazz is what throws me off.
The use of both styles together, however, does not bother me as much as the transition from one song to the next. It seems as if half of their songs are more modern than others, throwing the flow of the album slightly off balance. But with their unique effort and the incredible amount of potential they have, I expect time will only further enhance their opportunity for growth as a band.
My favorite song off the album by far is one of their more modern songs, “Dead Poets’ Society.” The vocals evoke much feeling and the chorus is catchy and memorable. The bridge is beautiful as well as effective and Reis’ transitional vocals from clean to rough are admirable. This song also excellently displays the honesty he brings forth lyrically.
Cinema Sleep doesn’t buy into the generic breakdowns and hateful lyrics that rock culture sometimes brings. As entertaining and as much loved as they usually are, it’s invigorating to hear lyrics that hold personal meaning and value from experience. Some of Reis’ themes include lost love, difficulty in relationships, and family.
For me, the overall feeling Truth for the Seeker brings is pure excitement. I can’t help but root for Cinema Sleep’s success because they seem genuine and dedicated to the music, not the scene. Plus, I really just want to hear some more fantastic guitar soloing. Cinema Sleep describes themselves as writing music that “makes you want to put down your sister’s eyeliner and rock out.” All I can say is thank goodness for rock and roll.