Sleeping in the Aviary - Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Sleeping in the Aviary

Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel (2008)

Science of Sound

Sleeping in the Aviary found a follower in me with a sound on their 2006 debut, Oh, This Old Thing?, that reminded me of the fun, careless nature of Thermals-esque, lo-fi power-pop. Granted, the record hasn't gotten much replay out of me since I reviewed it, but my memories remain fond. While the "lo-fi" aesthetic is still here, Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel is another whole beast.

Rather than try and improve upon that aforementioned formula, SITA has just about completely abandoned it, opting for a heavily acoustic-based, playful indie folk affair that sounds like Jeff Mangum listening to a shitload of Bob Dylan before recording In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Of course, Vomit barely even brushes the greatness of Neutral Milk Hotel's classic, but the feel is quite similar. I mean, look at the instruments used: piano; ukulele; tea kettle; accordion; saw; and "noise."

A dude named Elliott in the liner notes seems to be the main songwriter here (the Mangum of the whole thing, you could say). His voice more accurately hits notes than Mangum's, though, and never cracks in pleasingly cringeworthy fashions. Rather, it's delivered with a slight strain but still clean and free -- sort of like Conor Oberst in his more lively offerings, and when it lets loose in coarse yelping (which isn't terribly often) it makes for a fine dynamic.

It's hard to highlight standouts, but as far as that carefree nature goes, "Girl in the Ground" has it in spades. This is something SITA hasn't lost at all since This Old Thing, and that's the pure sense of absolute joy in songwriting and performing. Vomit sounds like a bunch of loosely assembled tracks recorded on the first or second take, and a band having a shitload of fun doing it. It's hard not to get some enjoyment out of hearing their enjoyment.

Sleeping in the Aviary has released another superbly solid full-length, and consequently deserve way more notice than they seem to receive. Get on it, people.

Write On
Gas Mask Blues