Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

CD Review: Sleeper Agent - "Celebrasion"

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.

Sleeper Agent
Mom+Pop Records

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.

“Get it daddy”

On her new record with her trio, Molly Miller executes a live-feeling work of structural harmony that mirrors her busy life.

Photo by Anna Azarov

The accomplished guitarist and teacher’s new record, like her lifestyle, is taut and exciting—no more, and certainly no less, than is needed.

Molly Miller, a self-described “high-energy person,” is fully charged by the crack of dawn. When Ischeduled our interview, she opted for the very first slot available—8:30 a.m.—just before her 10 a.m. tennis match!

Read MoreShow less

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard started out as a “joke” band. As guitarist/songwriter Joey Walker says with a grin, “Now the joke’s on us.”

Photo by Maclay Heriot

With their 26th release, Flight b741, the prog-rockers make it hard but highly rewarding for fans to keep up. Behind that drive lies a wealth of joy, camaraderie, and unwavering commitment to their art.

There’s a dangerous, pernicious myth, seemingly spread in perpetuity among fledgling artists and music fans alike, that when you’re a musician, inspiration—and therefore productivity—comes naturally. Making art is the opposite of work, and, conversely, we know what happens to Jack when there’s all work and no play. But what happens when the dimensions of work and play fuse together like time and space? What happens to Jack then? Well, behind such an instance of metaphysical reaction, undoubtedly, would be King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.

Read MoreShow less

Andy Timmons records rare Lennon/McCartney song "I'm In Love" at Abbey Road's Studio Two.

Read MoreShow less

Ted’s to-go kits: the silver box and the Big Black Bag.

Traveling with a collection of spare essentials—from guitar and mic cables to extension cords, capos, tuners, and maybe even a mini-amp—can be the difference between a show and a night of no-go.

Anyone who’s seen a spy flick or caper movie knows about go bags—the always-packed-and-ready duffles or attachés filled with passports, a few weapons, and cash that’s ready to grab and run with when the hellhounds are on your trail. As guitar players, we also need go bags, but their contents are less dramatic, unless, maybe, you’re playing a Corleone-family wedding.

Read MoreShow less