Sleeping Stars is the latest release from Chicago's Garden of Dreams. It's short and sweet, with 3 songs, clocking at less than 10 minutes total and released as a 3" disc packaged in a rather unique digipak variant. Garden of Dreams has a fairly straightforward and old-fashioned approach to making music: twin guitars, bass, (live) drums, some keyboards and light and melodic male vocals. The music itself is heavily reminiscent of various early 80's UK post-punk acts, and seems to take a lot of influence from The Smiths, in particular.
The opener, 2 Beautiful, is the most upbeat of the trio, with a danceable beat. Danceable in a rock band way and not a trance/techno way, obviously. Think The Cure, circa 1980. It has a rather catchy pop chorus of, "You're so beautiful/ You're so beautiful/ You're so beautiful/ 2 Beautiful..."
Next up is Killing Romeo and Juliet, which borrows heavily from The Smiths in both theme and sound. In fact, vocalist Gene Blalock, during the verse segments of the song, seems to have the uncanny ability to channel Morrisey quite well. Luckily, betraying a more than slight Smiths influence is not necessarily a bad thing (unless you happen to despise the Smiths; I do not) and the song itself is quite catchy.
Finally, we have Words Never Spoken which is a move into a slightly more morose direction, but still fits well with the others as yet another catchy and somewhat ethereal pop rock tune.
In short, if you like your rock to be somewhat on the sensitive side, or if you're a fan of early 80's Britpop, then you'll certainly want to keep an ear out for Garden of Dreams.
Post: P.O. Box 13110, Chicago, IL, 60613-3110