Murder In My Sleep
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Murder In My Sleep

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Hard rock lovers‚ collective heads have been hurting for quite a while now. This is not because they’ve thrashed their heads back and forth too briskly or fell asleep upside down in an empty hot tub. It’s because an acute lack of originality is more than enough to make one’s skull throb worse than a nine-hour tequila bender.

There are some mainstream hard rock bands that are doing good things (I won’t mention them here, for fear that yet another band will try to copy them). But, based on our experience, the best place to look for originality is in the local music bin at the record shop.

Wilmington band Murder In My Sleep,(formerly known as Session Nine), tries and succeeds at bringing a bit of originality to the table.Led by singer/lyricist/manager Stephanie Hart, the band intentionally and subtly moves away from the conventions of muffled-guitar-and-vocals rock. This sound will be heard on their new album, To the Hollow and Back, to be released April 25th.

Encore received an advance copy of the album, and it is certainly noteworthy. Anchored by the title track, the album begins at an interesting, almost lulling pace, with dreamy instrumentation behind Hart’s able vocals. Listeners are then thrust into track two, “Hypocrite Prophet,” a hard-hitting follow up to the experimental opening cut. Although attractive experimentation abounds, the album never looks back.
I hate to admit it, but the best two tracks on the album are perhaps the most mainstream: “Uninvited” and “Carry On.” The former rings of classic grunge, reminiscent of mid-90’s bands, such as Alice in Chains and Seven Mary Three, with cleaner, sometimes heavier instrumentation. The later reminds me of the harder, less popular (but best) songs from Pearl Jam.

Don’t be fooled by the references to ‘90s grunge; Murder In My Sleep are not a nostalgic throwback band. They’re harder to classify than that-a quality that is becoming more appealing in music these days. When forced to classify them, I’d call the band soulful hard rock. They’re more like Evanescence than Slipknot (not just because of the female vocals), using lyrics and subtle musical hints, rather than heavy instrumentals and guttural chants, to convey emotion.

With all the interesting lyrics and refreshing riffs, perhaps the best thing about Murder In My Sleep is the variety. To the Hollow and Back doesn’t seem to follow a certain theme from song to song; each song is different from the one before it. Yet, they still work together as an album. They’re not the first band to achieve this, but they’re one of the few that we’ve reviewed in encore. Their music certainly won’t make your head hurt.

Check them out at their cd release party at 10pm on Monday, April 25th at the Soapbox. Murder In My Sleep will perform with Negative Nancy, No Turning Back, and Reason to Breath. $3 cover for 21 and up; under 21, $5.
- By; Emily Rea,Encore Magazine,Wilmington,NC


Hmmm, what does N.C have to offer in the way of metal? This is what I asked myself when I received the press kit from Murder In My Sleep (formerly Session Nine). Let’s find out!!!!!!!! The CD opens with the title song “To the Hollow and Back”. As the seconds pass by listening to some acoustic track layered with a female’s voice that could be played at a Jewish circumcision, I thought NO! Please, not the whole CD!……..At almost that second Murder In My Sleep stepped up and KICKED me right square in the nuts. Very similar to the 3rd grade girls in school, when the boys pulled their hair. A very quick and hard drum line rings out, followed by a heavy ass guitar riff intertwined with a very present but also heavy bass line. Stephanie’s voice starts to open up with lyrics. Now this I like….a lot!
On to the good stuff. STEPHANIE HART, the female front for Murder In My Sleep. This ladies voice is perfect for the music of this band. Picture Grace Slick slapping Melissa Etheridge, a cat fight ensues and out walks STEPHANIE HART. Tones of Grace, grit of Melissa yet a vocal sound all her own, her passion comes thru in each song. Stephanie’s vocals are textured, melodic and layered with grit and emotion.
STEPHANIE HART is not only the front for Murder In My Sleep but also writer, manager and one of two founding members. Her and Chris Hart formed MIMS in 1998 although not under the that name. Years of dedication and remaining true to herself, stepping outside the pre-conceived mainstream ideas of what music should be are starting to pay off. STEPHANIE brings to the table 8 years vocal experience with influences ranging from Billie Holiday to Joan Jett. If you listen close you get a sense of honesty in her voice and lyrics very similar to the way Billie Holiday conveyed her pain and hurt thru the blues. I’m not comparing STEPHANIE to the late, great Billie Holiday, it’s the sense of honesty in her voice that caught my ear and knowing some of her influences, so if you listen and take the musical journey with STEPHANIE and Murder In My Sleep, you’ll understand.
I’m stretched to classify Murder In My Sleep's sound; but follow this one, ready? Heavy, Melodic-Metal/Hard Rock? The drums, bass and guitar take you on an instrumental roller-coaster ride from hard-hitting riffs to a layered melodic intervention of melodies and riffs. A little throw back to the 90’s grunge era, the focus of this group is to develop their own ideas based on their personal influences, but not copy or imitate. I think they have accomplished this on a more progressive level than maybe even they realize.
From track one to the final track, Murder In My Sleep gives their listeners a solid production, a well-formatted CD. Each song unto itself, yet the CD is not random. Solid movement of musicianship, vocal ability and writing has given Murder In My Sleep their own style, the new face of female fronted rock? Very well could be!!!!!! - www.femalemusiciansonline.com


Discography

To the Hollow and Back,released 2006/2007-independent. Various internet radio station airplay.

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Bio

Murder In My Sleep are an independent band whose members are from everywhere from NY to NC,all of whom are experienced musicians whose talents span the musical globe. We currently rock in the city of Wilmington,NC.

After a long stint as a melodic rock band,we have gone back to our true rock roots.
So if you’re looking for another nu-metal female fronted clone band you’ve come to the wrong place...ditto if you’re looking for another "cooler than thou" band.
We leave the wannabe and bullshit posturing to other bands.
What you’ll get from us is honest rock and roll,nothing more or less.

We have a new talented guitarist-Keenen Altic from Mt. Airy,NC.
Mike Naluai of the band HELLBROTH will be playing drums with us until such time we find a permanent drummer.

Past notable shows include opening gigs with metal shredders MY RUIN,BLEED THE SKY, and JONIN,(some shows under our old name Session Nine), and we have also shared the stage with industrial experimentalists APOCALYPSE THEATRE and genius alt-rockers HIS MIGHTY ROBOT. Not to mention some killer punk bands,and other acts of all different genres thrown in for flavor.
We never have a problem holding our own when sharing the stage with those national acts, and we truly love bills with outstanding local bands.

Our vision as a band is the righteous expression of feeling and life experiences through the music medium.
Taking our cues from powerful bands with long career spans,we strive to make music with integrity and meaning,that stands the test of time. We’re all musicians that have been playing a long time, so we have a love for music that we know you will pick up right away, and hopefully you will love the music we make as well.
As long as we are performing for the people,all is right with the world.

Always evolving,never moving back.
This is Murder In My Sleep.
More extensive bio on our official website.