From the Vault...


"Preparing For Tomorrow's Breakdown"

© Excursion Records

Year of Release: 1994

track listing
  • Fade
  • Serpico
  • Convince Us
  • Snow Day
  • Rain
  • Piss It Out
  • Dysphoria Ends
  • Forgiveness
  • Euphoria Begins
  • Helen/Reason
  • Stay Here
  • Spray The Source
  • Long Shot
  • Free Mind
  • Stand Up
  • Danny Generation
  • Blockade
  • Right To Die
  • 10 Miles
  • Temporary Ticket
  • Canadian Kid
  • Less From More
  • That Was Us
  • Ch. 6 NY

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    Sleeper Website

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    "Preparing For Tomorrow's Breakdown"

    Back when I was in a band in 1985/86 (Vision), there was a band called Sleeper. Our drummer's cousin was the band's drummer. We would be Sleeper's opening act on many of our gigs. Sleeper was lead by (the then married) Audrey Vanderlinden (one of two female lead vocalists) and guitarist Mark "Cosmo" Crosier. Sleeper was an awesome band, comparing to the likes of Heart, as the band was dominated by the two female singers. They had many originals, that would have easily been popular if released through major record labels.

    As I was browsing through a record store, preferably Hegewisch Records in Calumet City, Illinois, in the "S" section, there was a Sleeper section. Much to my surprise, I did not know that there were other bands with this name. Obviously the two Sleeper CDs there are NOT that of the Sleeper band mentioned in the first paragraph of this review. Having said this, I was curious to hear these "new" Sleeper bands. One of them is this week's Album Pick of the Week.

    The band called Sleeper for this review was formed as Ratcatcher in the late 1980s, from 1988-1989. They released a 5-song cassette recorded live at CBGB, called We Rock, You Don't, and a full-length unreleased album, entitled Smell The Glover. In 1990 they became Sleeper/Gutwrench. The Gutwrench name was short lived, releasing only one 7 inch record -- New Block On The Kids in 1990. In 1991 they became Sleeper, and released a 7 inch record, self-titled, and also known as Display 7". 1992 saw another 7 inch record, More Or Less, and the LP Time + Tide. 1993 had another 7 inch record, <>Splinter 7" Preparing For Tomorrow's Breakdown was released in 1994.

    On this album, the band consisted of John Lisa (vocals/guitar), Michael Thomas DeLorenzo (guitar), TJ Quatrone (drums), and Marc Treboschi (bass). In describing the band's style, they were labeled as a Punk band -- the music fast, powerful, speed metal, alternative rock, loud.

    Preparing Today For Tomorrow's Breakdown was recorded from December 29, 1993 through January 4, 1994 at Bippy's Happy Kitchen, in Straten Island, New York -- on plenty of caffeine and food, and little sleep. Produced and Engineered by Stephen Egerton and Bill Stevenson. Cover art by Adam Mazy. Individual photos (in the liner notes) by Joe Fornnabio and Michele Taylor.
    (taken from the CD liner notes)

    In reading the liner notes, this album is actually two albums, and a 7 inch LP -- the first 12 tracks were from the original title. Tracks 13-22 were from the out-of-print Time + Tide LP, from 1992, recorded in West Germany, 1992. Tracks 23 - 24 were from the now out-of-print More Or Less 7 inch LP, from 1992, recorded in Switzerland.

    The band changed their name to Serpico after their first album, as they were paid off ($156,000.00; which was deducted from taxes) by the English band Sleeper, which they would fade into the sunset later. Many personnel changes emerged, as the band played successful European tours, released singles and three more albums: Rumble (1994), Feel Bad Rainbow (1995), The Weakest Boy In The Troop Award (1996 compilation).

    Alternative Rock has the mood for most songs: "Fade," "Snow Day," "Helen/Reason," "Stay Here," "Spray The Source," "Less From More." Then there's the Punk sounds for "Serpico," "Long Shot," "Free Mind," "Stand Up," "Danny Generation." A more faster punk sound gets "RIght To Die," "10 Miles," "Temporary Ticket," "Canadian Kid," "That Was Us."

    A mix of Alternative and Punk -- these songs could get played on Alternative Rock formats, such as "Rain." "Convince Us" has a powerful Alt. Rock beginning, then travels into Punk. "Piss It Out," "Forgiveness," "Euphoria Begins" are fast and powerful Punk/Alternative Rock tracks. "Blockade" slows down a bit, another good Alternative Rock/Punk track. Speed Metal Punk best describes "Dysphoria Ends", and "Ch. 6 NY."

    Despite the personnel changes, John Lisa would remain the original member. Personal turmoils surfaced, yet their Rumble album would be their best album. (JOhn Lisa felt their debut was their best.) More problems, such as fights, John Lisa's homosexuality, would lead to the band's breakup in 1998. A reunion was resisted, until January, 2009. The band's members reformed with members of different "eras of Sleeper/Serpico." The reunion would be a one-time deal.

    Loud, fast, Alternative, Punk, dark lyrics. Sleeper's Preparing Today For Tomorrow's Breakdown grabs your attention with hits cutting edge Punk and Alternative Rock moods. John Lisa's latest job was a House DJ in Manhattan, New York.

    As for the other band called Sleeper, it was this English band that paid off John Lisa's Sleeper. They were a BritPop group, formed in 1993. They released three albums from 1993 to 1998. Their debut, Smart, will be reviewed here on the WSVNRadio site at another date.

    And as for Audrey and Cosmo's Sleeper -- I only have one song of theirs, an original, called "Hard To Say No." I don't think they ever did release an official album of their music. The good news is, that both Audrey and Cosmo are friends of mine on facebook, and proud to have them.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Excursion Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1396
    Liberace--Classic Album Collection
    Next Review: #1398
    Scott Stapp--The Great Divide