Album Review :
Life on Repeat - Struggle + Sleep

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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.