OK, I’ll admit it: the main reason this album jumped out at me from the KEXP shelves was its scandalous, NSFW cover image. Hotchy-motchy! Despite their 25-year ongoing career and our common origins in the city of Boston (heck, we’ve even played some of the same venues!), I’m not really familiar with Sleep Chamber’s music. Not to put them in too much of a pigeonhole, but the whole goth-industrial thing has never been a strong favorite of mine (which is not to say I have not rocked out to music along those lines — and in fact, if I had heard Sleep Chamber in high school I probably would have become a fan, being into subverting dominant paradigms as I was).
As you might have guessed from this album’s cover art and title, there are definitely explicit sexual overtones and messages in the band’s music, and in fact they have referred to their sound as “the soundtrack to sex,” rather than try to pin it down to a particular genre. Again, I think I prefer my sex music to be more along the lines of Barry White and Marvin Gaye, but to each his own. The KCMU folks seemed to be simultaneously scandalized and intrigued by the band:
|“Give your show a taste ov Sleep Chamber. They have a narrow lyrical approach that is much more overt than rock ‘n’ roll traditions have established regarding sex. This is a compilation of singles, remixed and unreleased stuff. This band is big with the bondage crowd. [I never would have guessed!] The cover pic refers to the song ‘Warm Leatherette’ before you get too wound up.”
“Thanks for the warning… I was just beginning to get steamed…”
“It’s about time we got some Sleep Chamber! Bondage gods, so tie up your loved one and let the fun begin.”
“Is heroin making a come back… or cum back? [Given that this was 1988 in Seattle, I think the answer to that one is probably a strong yes.]”