"We all grow used to almost anything in time so I'll set out before I start to feel resigned," sings Oh Geronimo's Ciarán Downes to open the band's debut record. As the album's introductory statement, it sets Sleep Rhythms up to confront the monotony of adulthood in a unique way, but Sleep Rhythms ultimately doesn't do that. For much of the record, Oh Geronimo rely on overwrought pop arrangements and instrumental combinations that are undoubtedly catchy, if not something we're a little too accustomed to.
Wrapped in soporific melodies and a comfortable guitar and banjo combination, "Sleep Mole" fails to ever wake up, while "Moonboots Ablaze," with its fire safety PSA halfway through, is a clunky effort to move on from past mistakes. Sleep Rhythms is not entirely sleepy, though, as energetic moments litter the record: "Arctic Shores," like the ebb and flow of its title, beautifully balances quiet, harmonized excellence with buoyant folk-rock, and "Waves (The Flood Pt. 2)" nicely mirrors the panic of its lyrics with its urgent instrumentals. Even the title track staves off drowsiness with its earnest and emotional lyrics that reflect on the rocky road to adulthood.
At their worst, Oh Geronimo fall into the rut that so many similar sounding bands before them have created; at their best, they have as much kick here as the day's first cup of coffee. Given it's the band's debut, Sleep Rhythms suggests Oh Geronimo have a hopeful future. (Independent)