Life on Repeat – Struggle + Sleep

By BMer on June-17-2011 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , , | Share

Life on Repeat – Struggle + Sleep
Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/5Score: 3/53
4.5 (13 votes)

Band: Life on Repeat
Album: Struggle + Sleep
Label: Equal Vision Records
Release Date: June 2011

Track Listing:
01. Struggle & Sleep
02. The Waiting Game
03. The Need, Not The Cause
04. Southern Girls
05. Rock The Boat
06. Feet Under
07. Layover Letdown
08. Sinking
09. Without You Here
10. Wide Awake

It’s been two years since we last heard from Life on Repeat. Back in 2009 the band released a 4-song EP called As I Grew, it featured a hybrid sound of pop-punk tunes with a heavy metal foundation; plenty of double-kick and breakdowns. Since that release the band has signed to Equal Vision Records and have put together Struggle + Sleep; a full-length album of ten tracks, a few old ones and a handful of new ones.

For those that enjoyed the lighter side of Life on Repeat, Struggle + Sleep might be a letdown. The band has dropped most of it’s boppy fun riffs for a little more angst. The lone track to make Struggle + Sleep from As I Grew is “Southern Girls” and it’s probably the poppiest track on the album. It’s clear from the lyrics that the writer has definitely gone through some struggles in recent relationships. On the opening track “Struggle and Sleep” the singer sings “Some say that this life is nothing but struggle and sleep, but i refuse to live as they do. I will not put my life on repeat.” One could conclude that this record would be about overcoming struggle and having a positive outlook, but it’s hard to get an optimistic feel from the lyrics.

On the surface it appears that each song deals with relationships, from the goods to the bad. Songs like “Without You Here” features the writer taking responsibility for a love gone bad, while the following track “Wide Awake” is the complete opposite “Now I see your eyes, to think i saw potential. Oh what a fool I’ve become.” “Southern Girls” is another song about love lost, and Life on Repeat have change the lyrics a bit since the EP, with a new bridge that talks about how the relationship won’t be the same. Maybe the most revealing tracking on the album is “Sinking” which sounds like the writer has lost his faith “There was a fire inside of me, but it died when your eyes turned away from me”.

The sound of Life on Repeat is tough to pin down, they’ve described themselves as nu metal, you could consider them hard rock or even post-hardcore/metal. The drumming is full of fills and double-kick and is really one of the high points of Struggle + Sleep. The guitar-work is also very clean and tight, a few solos here and there. “Rock The Boat” really sounds like The Higher or The Audition but with heavier drumming. All of the vocals are pretty much clean and clear, a few screams sprinkled throughout. “Feet Under” has the best complete sound on the album, ambient guitars and very groovy chorus that is super catchy. The melody line is creative and fun, a style that I think Life on Repeat do well.

OVERALL Life on Repeat’s first full-length Struggle + Sleep is pretty good, I’m sure many people will enjoy it. Unfortunately I feel like there is a little to be desired; the music is very good but the lyrical content is repetitive and not very inspiring or creative. A few tracks like “Rock the Boat”, “Southern Girls”, and “Struggle and Sleep” are a lot of fun but the other tracks don’t leave an impact.

Life on Repeat - Struggle + Sleep, 4.5 out of 5 based on 13 ratings

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About the author BMer

Grew up in Sacramento in the punk scene, moved to Denver and have been there ever since. Punk / Hardcore. View all posts by BMer

29 Responses to 'Life on Repeat – Struggle + Sleep'

  1. taborrr says:

    Spot on review. Catchy, and fun, and that’s about it. Might get some play time in my car on long summer drives.

  2. dr. umbum says:

    I really like their sound. Their songs are very catchy and the drumming is my favorite. I was hoping for more inspiring lyrics as well. Are there any interviews lined up (or already conducted) with them and IVM to talk about their new album and their faith?

  3. Andrew S. says:

    I agree with this review. I find myself skipping most of the songs on this album. Perhaps after a few more listens it will grow on me.

  4. evan144 says:

    Totally agree with this review. This was basically my top anticipated CD of 2011 (besides Vanna and Thrice) and it was a tad bit of a letdown. With that being said, I have listened to it like 15 times and love the album, but I feel they have a lot more potential they could have shown.

    They really should have put this track they recorded but only put on the Take Action sampler called Myself and Mirrors. Super good! It would have fit into the album perfectly and given it that extra uumph. And they should have put Buzzkill on too!

  5. evan144 says:

    New Thrice is called Major/Minor and I believe it drops September 3rd… if not the week after.

    The new Vanna is their best yet. It is a lot different from old Vanna (in a way). It is reminiscent of their first album, but has a The Chariot and HEAVY OLD Alexisonfire (Watch Out! era) influence to it! I definitely recommend it!

  6. Josh says:

    “The guitar-work is also very clean and tight, a few solos her and there.”

    Missing an ‘e.’ Other than that, nice review. Glad to see something get lower than a seven around here.

  7. Josh says:

    While IVM does give deem records less than a ‘7’ in quality, this is done at a mind-boggling low rate. Out of the 580 official reviews recorded to date (indicated with skull head scoring), only a mere 79 albums have been considered a ‘6’ – ‘More Highs Than Lows But Very Generic Effort’ – or lower.

    Crunching those numbers, this gives us a very slim 13% chance that any single record reviewed at IVM will score either a 6/10 or less and on the flip side, an 87% chance that the disc in question will receive anywhere from a 7-10/10.

    I am not here to question your Staff, your reviewing methods or anything like that. All I am trying to point out is that the scoring here is noticeably inflated, which may make picking the best from the rest for readers understandably challenging.

    IVM does assess albums as being less that a ‘7’, but not nearly enough for many to take a majority of these ratings seriously. The proof is in the numbers.

    • Tim says:

      Love that you did this research. Especially when, at the end of the day, this doesn’t really matter…

      I’ll buy an album regardless of what IVM think of it! (Although I do enjoy reading the reviews, even when I think the album is better or worse than the IVM opinion).

    • Brandon says:

      You can crunch the numbers all you like but you have absolutely no understanding for how this site was created, run, and has continued to run the past 11 years. Some people like to visit IVM just to criticize and they have no clue what happens behind the scenes. No one is getting paid here, myself included. We all have real jobs and families. This site is just run for fun as something to do on the side when I am not busy at work. The reason there are more positive scores on the site is that some of the staff end up reviewing albums they “like” or “enjoy” versus the ones they didn’t quite enjoy as much. If you want to know more about Ivm or how its run just email me Brandon@indievisionmusic.com

    • BMer says:

      my opinion on the scoring is that our scale is a little misleading. if we bumped the definition of 9 and 10 together and moved everything up one it’d be a lot more accurate:

      6 – piece of junk, your band should break up
      7 – More Highs Than Lows But Very Generic Effort
      8 – Solid Overall Effort With Some Great Tunes
      9 – Great Album With Minor Flaws
      10 – Phenomenal, An Instant Classic, Album of the Year Candidate!

      i think our scale doesn’t currently really differentiate between 9 / 10. thats just my opinion

    • dacheat says:

      If a 6 means your band should break up, what does a 1 mean? O.0

    • Brandon says:

      Yeah that doesn’t make sense now does it?

    • Chandler A. says:

      I also think 1 and 2 are the same. “Use as a coaster” and destined for “ebay”

    • Chandler A. says:

      * “Destined for ebay”

    • John xPSx says:

      I think people aren’t understanding what a 6 rating means (or maybe I just don’t :P )

      To me, on a scale of one to 10, 10 would mean “perfect, one of the most awesomest things in the history of ever”, 6 would mean “pretty good, slightly above decent”, 5 would be “decent, but nothing special, pretty neutral on it”, 4 would be “bad. not terribly bad, but definitely short of decent”, and 1 would be “kill it with fire”.

    • Dacheat says:

      Yeah, saying that a 6 album is a piece of junk is kind of ridiculous… Generally this is what I think 1-10 ratings mean.

      10: An instant classic. Album of the year. A must buy.
      9: A fantastic album that is an album of the year candidate. A few very minor few minor flaws.
      8: A very good album that has a few flaws.
      7: A good album. Definitely worth at least a look.
      6: Slightly above average. Some flaws, but the good outweighs the bad.
      5: Slightly below average. Flawed, but the potential is there.
      4: Not a good album. More than a few flaws, but there are some redeeming factors too.
      3: A bad album. Major flaws. Just not very enjoyable.
      2: A terrible album. Fatal flaws throughout the album.
      1: One of the worst albums of all time. Stop making music. Rebecca Black.

    • BMer says:

      wow, my sarcasm didn’t work there. did you guys read the words i wrote before that? i was talking about the high-end of the scale (8, 9, 10). sheesh. This is why i avoid the comment sections on IVM, seems like everyone is high-strung like this all matters or something.

      if it were up to me i’d move the scale to an “out of 5″ scale, much more direct. nothing on here is gonna score below a 5 anyway so why even have 1-5?

    • Dacheat says:

      How were we supposed to know you were being sarcastic? It wasn’t really obvious in your post… Anyways, good to know you were joking haha…

      IMO I don’t have a problem with how y’all rate albums. Obviously it’s going to be skewed because people review things they like, and that’s fine. Though honestly I go to this site more to discover bands than to read the reviews.

  8. Luke94 says:

    this album was a big disappointment. the EP was great, and the first version of “southern girls” had a much better mix. the lyrics especially were lacking big time on this one. at least i have no search the city to look forward to!

  9. Jay says:

    I’m into this album very much. That is all.

Comments closed.

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