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Thinking it sounded like a great name for a rowdy rock band, Sleeper Agent got the idea for their moniker from an episode of Battlestar Galactica. And rowdy rock is a perfect descriptor for the deliciously raunchy tunes this Bowling Green, Kentucky, band of six is churning out. The band’s debut full-length release, Celebrasion, celebrates hook-heavy, riff-laden, garage rock and had already enjoyed a wealth of critical acclaim prior to hitting the shelves a few weeks ago.
The band comprises Alex Kandel (vocals), Tony Smith (vocals/guitar), Josh Martin (guitar), Lee Williams (bass), Justin Wilson (drums), and Scott Gardner (keyboards). Smith and Kandel share vocal duties equally throughout the album with seamless, back-and-forth exchanges on each tune. “Get It Daddy”—the fist-bumping anthem that’s the first single on the record—is a ferocious and perfect example of Sleeper Agent’s dual-vocal-style over fuzz-filled riffage. With it’s energy, pace, and interesting time change at the bridge, “Get It Daddy” is a nice start to this party.
The energy of Celebrasion remains fairly constant throughout the 12 fun and driven tunes, many of which bring to mind Urge Overkill or early Strokes. A nice break from the action occurs right in the middle of the record with “That’s My Baby”—a dark, country-esque ballad with plenty of twang and chorus from the guitar work of Smith and Martin. The song also showcases the 18-year-old Kandel, who delivers a delicate crooning beyond her years.
Sleeper Agent has awoken by delivering a high-octane debut record with Celebrasion. If you’re into fast, ferocious, and happy garage-pop, you can’t go wrong by giving this some listening time.
Must-hear-track: “Get it daddy”