Sleepers, The / S/t
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The Sleepers’ debut five-song EP, originally released in 1978, is one of the truly essential records to come out of California in the late ’70s. It is 100% punk in spirit and yet avoids every punk cliché. The band’s original lineup of Ricky Williams, Michael Belfer, Paul Draper and Tim Mooney operates here as a machine—a temperamental one rattling in unison. Opener “Seventh World” trudges through many tempos without repeating a single one, while Williams’s astonishing, Robo-fueled voice douses the microphone with esoteric imagery. Each track creates a new template for psychedelic rock and discards it by the time the next one begins. This record inexplicably transcends the mere sum of its parts.