I’ll have to keep this one brief, like the actual record itself. Trap Them’s debut LP Sleepwell Deconstructor clocks in at just over twenty-one thunderous minutes, twelve tracks of gritty hardcore punk/grindcore/hardcore. However you want to classify it, it shreds, a devastating record produced by Converge’s own Kurt Ballou. This thing is fierce, and its a record I actually spin quite rarely. Not because I dislike it, I love how intense Trap Them are, but mainly just because I rarely feel the need for something this heavy. Back in my angst-riddled days of early adolescence, it was a record I span a couple of times a week, a quick way to vent some aggression and get mad. If I wasn’t mad beforehand, then listening to Sleepwell Deconstructor would certainly make me so. I come back to it every now and then just to revisit it and give it the chance to rip as it so sublimely does, but it isn’t really a staple of my collection.
Released: 2007 Label: Trash Act!
Variant: 2nd press /250 Purchased from: Waxwell Records, NL
Still, it’s an undeniably great record, especially for a debut. As far as opening LPs go, Sleepwell is a firm statement of intent, malevolent and ugly in a way that only heavy music of this nature can be. It’s reluctant to let up – swinging and swinging hard. Blast beats underscore guttural roars, and the guitar work is thick and meaty throughout, the whole record a dense maelstrom of ferocity encapsulated. It’s heavy on the bass aspect of the record, and Sleepwell is given a cagey dissonance as such, a murky edge that permeates even the occasional moments of melody (Day Five: Garlic Breakfast). Five-minute epic Destructioneer Extraordinaire stands apart as the records best track, a brooding centerpiece, given time to unfurl before ending cataclysmic. It’s harsh, and it’s strangely poetic, and it’s fucking great.
I own a couple of Trap Them records on vinyl, and Sleepwell is by far my favorite. It’s another record I grabbed on holiday, picking it up in Amsterdam a couple of years after it was released. I only knew the band vaguely beforehand, their name circulating in the scene, but I definitely knew them better after acquainting myself with the savagery of Sleepwell Deconstructor.