SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM
Avant-garde Metal • United States

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Sleepytime Gorilla Museum formed in 1999 in Oakland, California, United States. The band was founded by Nils Frykdahl (guitars, flutes, vocals) and Dan Rathbun (bass, log, trombone, lute, vocals) of the band Idiot Flesh, with Carla Kihlstedt (violins, percussion guitar, autoharp, organ, bulbul, vocals) of Tin Hat Trio, 2 Foot Yard and The Book of Knots, after the three worked together in Charming Hostess. Matthias Bossi (drums, glockenspiel, xylophone, vocals) and Michael Mellender (percussion, assorted melodic instruments, vocals) both joined in 2004. Previous members include percussionist Moe! Staiano, founding drummer David Shamrock, and drummer/manager Frank Grau.

The band tour the U.S. frequently in a renovated vintage Green Tortoise bus, and their live performances have featured puppet shows, pseudo-scientific scholarly presentations, and performances by members of the Butoh group inkBoat. SGM's music has been categorized as anything from avant-prog to art rock to experimental metal to rio (Rock In Opposition).
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In Glorious TimesIn Glorious Times
The End Records 2007
Audio CD$6.46
$0.85 (used)
Grand Opening & ClosingGrand Opening & Closing
The End Records 2006
Audio CD$3.85
$2.69 (used)
Sleepytime Gorilla MuseumSleepytime Gorilla Museum
Import
Mimicry 2004
Audio CD$12.99
$6.89 (used)
Live: Sleepytime Gorilla MuseumLive: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Sick Room 2003
Audio CD$52.73
$9.99 (used)
In Glorious Times by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (2007-05-28)In Glorious Times by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (2007-05-28)
The End
Audio CD$23.67
Grand Opening and Closing by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (2006-09-04)Grand Opening and Closing by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (2006-09-04)
The End
Audio CD$18.10
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (2004-05-03)Sleepytime Gorilla Museum by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (2004-05-03)
Mimicry
Audio CD$39.29
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SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM Discography

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.65 | 9 ratings
Grand Opening and Closing
Avant-garde Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.14 | 37 ratings
Of Natural History
Avant-garde Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.68 | 12 ratings
In Glorious Times
Avant-garde Metal 2007

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM EPs & splits

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM live albums

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Live
Avant-garde Metal 2003

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

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SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM Reviews

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM Of Natural History

Album · 2004 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Earendil
The thrill of listening to this music goes beyond a primal rush of adrenaline or even a chilling sense of uneasiness. The emotion is a more complex one that rarely sees the light of day. It is an understanding, a twisted beauty that dares the listener to defy his cultural conditioning and escape for a moment from the accepted standards of society. It's so thrilling because it temporarily breaks the illusion of order and uses the guise of insanity to see society in a truer light. Many people are unable or unwilling to restore sight to themselves, but SGM's music offers the willing a powerful tool to do so. "Morning will come for you at last No matter how far into night you have strayed"

Dismantling the unspoken requirements for "normal" interaction often requires violent measures. Though the rage may be painful at the time, it can achieve a measure of clarity. It isn't selfish or irrational anger, but calculated retaliation against society's constrictions. It certainly is possible to reject societal standards without the anger, but sometimes anger is necessary.

Through the apparent chaos of this music lies a contentedness that is only visible through unobscured vision.

Holy sh*t, this album....

Rating:10/10

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM Live

Live album · 2003 · Avant-garde Metal
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Earendil
If you listen to this album not as a recording of a music concert but as a dadaist performance, then maybe you will be able to appreciate it. That's really what I kept coming back to; the most accurate description of the album's attitude is dadaist . Out of the 16 tracks (taken from various SGM concerts), there are only a handful of actual songs that have appeared on studio albums. The rest is a mixture of improv, anecdotes, pseudo-intellectual tidbits, and insanity. If it were only for the music, this album might earn 2 stars because of the amount of "real" SGM songs and the recording quality which is not excellent. However, I think that people should listen to this, even if they hate it (and it certainly would not be difficult to have that reaction) because here is something unique. I really have never heard or seen another performance like this anywhere else. You might love or hate what you learn, but most likely it will be a combination of the two.The key is an open mind.

Rating: 7/10

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM In Glorious Times

Album · 2007 · Avant-garde Metal
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Warthur
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's In Glorious Times finds the band in a slightly less theatrical mode than their preceding album, with the music seeming more real and immediate; if Of Natural History was a Vaudeville conception of avant-metal, this is more of a gritty and realistic movie soundtrack. Musically speaking, the band seem to be out to fuse the disturbing territories of Mr Bungle with the creepy chamber rock of Rock In Opposition legends Univers Zero, though the bizarre vocal approach is a 100% Sleepytime Gorilla original. Either way, the album is another successful experiment in balancing musical complexity and experimentation with way-out-there creepiness.

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM Of Natural History

Album · 2004 · Avant-garde Metal
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Warthur
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's twisted brand of avant-garde metaphysical vaudeville metal is intriguingly presented on Of Natural History, which the band have described as a concept album about a debate between the philosophy of the Futurist and the ideas of the Unabomber. How the repeated chant of "Babydoctooooooooor" or the high church celebration of Satan in A Hymn to the Morning Star fits into all that, I have no idea, but either way the band create a compelling musical territory which maintains an adept balance between keeping things experimental and ensuring the music is still satisfying to listen to, even if it does drag a little towards the end.

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM Of Natural History

Album · 2004 · Avant-garde Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Xaxaar
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Of Natural History

Definitely one of the better avant-garde albums I have heard. The amount of tension this band creates with instrumentation is pretty unreal; it helps settle a truly dark mood. And as some people think the lyrics sound forced, I actually enjoy them quite a lot.

The lyrics tend to have a deeper meaning to them. Take for example "The Creature." This song has a blatantly obvious reference to politics, I think. But even if it is obvious, it does not take away anything from the song. I usually do like when symbolism is not up for interpretation for I see, and I quote the great Devin Townsend, "People going up their own ass." Besides the political themes that travel through the album, the lyrics also help create that atmosphere I like so much. Not only the lyrics, but just the vocals themselves, too. "A Hymn To The Morning Star" shows the range they have and it just makes the album feel that much more unique. "Phthisis" also shows off the talents of Carla as her voice definitely fits the album perfectly. There is definitely a group of talented singers doing the vocals for this album as they know what they're doing.

The band uses their fair share of wacky time signatures, but the way they use them has been so different than what I've heard before...in a good way! Usually when I hear an odd time signature it's just to add some complexity in the music. Sure, I guess you could say that they're doing this too, but what I love about the way they use the time signatures is the tension it builds. Like in "Phthisis," when they skip a beat, for some reason these small details make the album that much more solid for me. It helps create the atmosphere they were looking for, no doubt. Also another thing to take note on is that they don't sound forced. I see bands adding time signatures just for the sake of being complicated and those are usually the type of bands I try to avoid. It just doesn't sound good when you try and make some wacky polyrhythm, it just should come naturally in the unfolding of the music.

I am also quite a big fan of the instrumentation of the album. The use of instruments like the glockenspiel and the xylophone help to that tense atmosphere I keep going back to as it gives a sense of atmosphere. The array of percussion instruments is also a nice touch and is certainly welcomed in the album. As, of course, there are guitars, bass, and drums, they don't take as big of a role as other metal bands. As of course these instruments are used often, they just feel like they compliment the rest of the band, not so much that they ARE the band (as most metal is).

Overall, I really have nothing bad to say about the album; I love everything about it. I have heard complaints that there is too much filler and ambience, but for me that helps the tone further. Plus, the album is fairly lengthy, I think they have some leg-room to just create some haunting aura. If it was a Cynic album, then maybe I would be a bit more concerned they were filling the album with pure ambience. My personal favorites are "The Creature" and "The Donkey-Headed Adversary of Humanity Opens the Discussion," even though I don't think there is one song that I would consider to be a disappointment. All of them are good in their own unique way and help catapult this album to a 4 star rating from me.

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