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REVIEW: ‘About Last Night’ is an all-around solid record

Sleeper Agent’s new record eliminates the awkward moment of talking “About Last Night.”

The female fronted six piece from Bowling Green, KY, has seen a rapid rate of success since its 2011 debut. From playing the Coachella fairgrounds to a spot on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” the band has seen a bounty of national success which continues with the group’s newest venture.

Their second full-length album, “About Last Night,” is willed with a fusion of electronica-based songs mixed with pop-punk anthems. Bouncy guitar and catchy synthesizers will encourage the listener to dance from the first track to the end.

The album comes out strong on its first two tracks, “Be Brave” and “Waves.” The band does an excellent job of creating sing-along choruses mixed with high energy riffs.  Sleeper Agent’s front woman, Alex Kandel, has no problem keeping the songs interesting. Her vocal range mixed with her confidence in each song prove that this record is a sign of maturity.

Displaying influences from bands like The Pixies and Foxy Shazam, the group does a great job of mixing punk rock with the intense desire to break out cheesy dance moves. The tracks “Haunting Me” and “Impressed” are chest-thumping crowd movers that will surprise listeners and remind them that punk is not dead.

“About Last Night” also carries a two beautiful, slower-paced songs, where the band shows its softer side. The tracks “Lorena” and “Shut” showcase the band’s ability to move away from the record’s overall sound of fast-paced, high-energy tracks.

The most vital part of the record, however, is the use of the band’s keyboard and synthesizers. The synthesizers lay the groundwork in each song and walk the fine line between being funky and annoying. Evidence of this exists on the song “Eat You Up,” where the band goes all out on catchy warbles and heavy hitting vocals.

While “About Last Night” is no doubt a very impressive record, the band fails to have any break out or experimental songs. Each track seems to follow a specific formula of song structure, instrument use, and musical buildups. I wish that this record would have given a bit more into experimenting with each track, as opposed to keeping the majority of the songs sounding similar.

However, the album does end on a strong note, which shows promise for the band’s next record. The outgoing track, “Sweetheart,” adds a huge kick of Hispanic spice by utilizing Spanish guitar stylings and percussion, capping the album with a huge shift.

Bottom Line: “About Last Night” is nothing short of a solid record that will let this band break out even further into the national and international spotlight. Be sure to check them out on Vans Warped Tour 2014, which will be in Nashville on July 29th at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The album drops today.

Rating: 7/10

Favorite Track: Sweetheart

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