REVIEW: Sleeper Agent – “Celabrasion”

Sleeper Agent / Celabrasion / Mom+Pop

There’s something in the water in Bowling Green, Kentucky. A university locale, the area has bred, fed and shipped off abrasive indie rock factions (Cage The Elephant, Morning Teleportation) that were born to dishevel pop. Coming from the same cave, Sleeper Agent carry the same personality. The rowdy sextet’s debut, Celabrasion, is an essay on individuality and how a flux of influences can be bagged and beaten against a wall to create promise. “Bottomed Out”, a mid-drunk, riff-heavy dance number reiterates this as does its opposite “That’s My Baby”, a more chilled out three minutes of dual vocals and decadent hooks.

When 18-year-old vocalist Alex Kandel and guitarist Tony Smith finish each others sentences, it’s almost pure bliss, especially with their “screw the book” style of songwriting. Throughout Celabrasion’s twelve songs, Sleeper Agent tug at your pants zipper with “Proper Taste” (“Call me pumpkin, carve me out”), unravel at your feet on “Far And Wide” (“My heart a telephone/ Such noise to listen to”) and even surround the idea of a stalker in love with an asphyxiating rhythm (“Force A Smile”). When the group gets quiet towards the end of the disc, Kandel and Smith open up with a splash of subtle Yeah Yeah Yeahs that’s enough to let the next southern rock outburst explode in your face. “I’m sick of drooling every time I hear your bell ring / But I open the door when you pull my drawstring / Get it?”. Oh we get it, and we can’t stop celebrating.

Download: “Proper Taste”, “All Wave And No Goodbye”, “Love Blood”


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  • Max says:

    They killed SXSW. Great band and they’re pretty nice in-person.

  • i have only heard great things about this band! my friend went to one of their shows and they randomly gave him a free album download code because he bought some merch! It’s so great to hear about a genuine band that plays great music 🙂 I actually heard about them because of their free song on itunes right now.. what a catchy piece of work that is!!

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