Haybaby – “Sleepy Kids” Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

I wanted to start off this review with a written anecdote that goes a little like this, “every now and then you hear an album that (enter how this album made you feel.” It feels a little overused, maybe that’s just the amount of reviews I have done this year, maybe that’s just not how I want to discuss Haybaby at all. No cliches, no calculated poetic writing because that’s not how Sleepy Kids was written and not at all how it is meant to be heard.

What’s so unique about Haybaby anyways? The tight knit trio bounce their instruments off each other with ease, like opener to the album “Old Friends.” The bass drum is nothing short of smooth and twists its pulses between a guitar riff that pokes through the drums powerful assault. It’s raw, it’s catchy and it’s fucking rock n’ roll at it’s finest. The chorus finds a distressed Leslie Hong delivering aggressive vocal shouts behind walls of guitar feedback. 

The stripped down structure of all nine tracks shows how capable the band is. Take “Her” for example, a poppy track with courageous vocal melodies. There’s no overdone processes and no tracks that will beat you to death with complex layering of instruments. What you hear is three people creating a vicious assault of noise or a calculated ominous ballad. You’d think a song with the name of “Pizza Party” would be a fun and care free track, right? Well listen to the dark and mangled guitar notes weaving their way through a bellowing and moody bass line. The song contorts into distorted noise that’s oh so enjoyable with the distinct minor keyed sound. I love Hong’s vocal delivery here, almost whispering in a monotonous voice suitable for a Nirvana track. 

Hong’s ability to bring her emotions to life with her voice are present on “Edelweiss”(my personal favorite track here). Throughout each chorus you can hear the vocal cords ripping with the same agony she feels knowing her friend has passed. It’s simple, vulnerable and real, bringing with it a haunting mood worthy of shedding tears over. The shift in mood is a perfection representation of grief, picking up the pace and showcasing a new vigor, blistering with distorted guitars embodying the rest of Hong’s frustration. 

Listening to Haybaby is awesome. You can hear their passion bleeding through every progression, every note, every single song. Even looking through their promo photos I can’t help but just see their shining personalities and general care for music. This vitality is admirable, allowing listeners to smile at how gripping they can be. For my closing thoughts, just listen to “New Friends” and try not to feel engaged. It’s impossible.  Sleepy Kids reaches out to listeners through it’s raw sound, transparent lyrics and pure rock n roll vibe. The 34 minutes you spend listening to this record is well worth any half hour of free time. Looking back on things, I’m glad I didn’t start this review with that anecdote. 

Score: 8.25/10

see what I mean? This photo is called “We All Over It, Leslie Looks At Lamp.” Pick up the album here: http://www.tinyengines.net/products/545568-haybaby-sleepy-kids-lp-pre-order