Rough Sleepers. Photo: Miss Champagne Records
It’s always intriguing to me when I read what a band calls their music through social media platforms and on places like Bandcamp. Sometimes they’re so accurate that it’s creepy, other times it undersells the music. For Houston’s Rough Sleepers, who describe their music as dark punk, they’ve definitely undersold what they’re doing. Mixed with sonic landscapes that could be the soundtrack to a dystopian future, the three-piece has an upcoming album, Savage Dream, to be released through Miss Champagne Records. It’s the kind of music you might not understand, but also the kind you shouldn’t turn away from. On their new song Metallic Fringe, found exclusively here, they take everything you love about grime and electronica and add sounds that makes them intriguing and catchy without ever sounding like they’re trying to break into the mainstream.
Beginning with a dissonant tone, the track sounds like something from a sci-fi horror film before the beat and a synth heavy mixture break in. A muffled vocal finds its way into the background before the band drives into the pace. With guitars blazing and a simple beat, when the vocals do come in, you can’t really understand them due to the sound manipulation. However, that doesn’t mean that the song doesn’t hit like it’s meant to. There are moments where the band sounds like a demonic version of early Laibach or a crazed version of Die Krupps. While they don’t copy either, they definitely remind you of a time when electronic music was braver than it’s been lately.
You can pre-order the new album here, or you can hear “Metallic Fringe” live when the band performs at their album release party on May 5 at Civic TV Laboratories (2010 Commerce). The all ages show will see the release of their new cassette, Savage Dream. With performances from LA’s Behavior and Blue Dolphin, the show should be nothing if not interesting with doors at 8 pm and tickets for $7.