Sleeping Buddha
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Sleeping Buddha


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The best kept secret in music


"CD Review"

Classic rock connoisseurs Sleeping Buddha is comprised of four members: three contribute guitar work and two play keyboards. Even more interestingly, virtually every song credits a different combination of members with the songwriting. These facts may help explain the remarkable diversity displayed throughout the twelve songs on their self-titled album, on which the band comes across as classic-rock historians trying to write a history of rock on record.

Though most of the songs appear to be inspired by a core of classic-rock groups, they draw upon a number of different genres. Album opener "High Horse" features big sludge-metal riffs drawn from Sabbath sitting alongside hilariously condescending lyrics: "My place at the top is so strong / Your view from the bottom is simply wrong / You can't talk any sense into me." This particular song is straight metal, but it's the only song like that on the album. Metal riffs make frequent appearances in songs that don't necessarily qualify as metal, songs that are more focused on the keyboards and have a chilly, spacey vibe. At its best, such as the epic "Roman Anthem" and the somber "Got More", it sounds like Tony Iommi joined Pink Floyd without, judging by the expressive, melodic solos, displacing David Gilmour.

"Roman Anthem" also creates a stunning dichotomy between some very ethereal, beautiful passages and menacing riff-rock. "All We Are" is an unlikely marriage of art rock and arena rock that recalls mid-to-late 90's Pearl Jame. The lush, haunting "Lift Me Up" sounds as if it could have been one of the acoustic songs on Led Zeppelin III, with its very cool, Eastern-sounding vibes. "Riff Raff" brings the funk, with wah-wah-powered guitar lines swirling around all over the place. At times, Sleeping Buddha is a rush, like listening to ten different good 70's rock albums at the same time.

However, the album is not without its weaknesses. Though vocalist/guitarist Bob Cirilli sounds really good when singing in a subdued, restrained manner, as he does for most of the album, his hard-rock voice is by no means his strong suit. This is most evident on "Tainted" during the repeated shouts of "You have a voice now go and speak it," which unfortunately sounds ilke Puddle of Mudd more than anything else. Some of the lyrical content is also questionable ("It's my way or the highway, honey"...wasn't there a Limp Bizkit song that featured those words?).

Taken as a whole, though, 'Sleeping Buddha' is an impressive work, one that inspires memories of specific bands without directly ripping any of them off, one that puts multiple rock genres to use without fully committing to any of them. And really, when music draws so heavily upon Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Floyd, how can it go wrong?

--John Payne - Rick's Cafe - May 2006


Sleeping Buddha (self-titled, 2006)

Streaming audio available at


Feeling a bit camera shy


Take what you know about starting a band, turn it inside out, and you have Sleeping Buddha. With plenty of experience to draw from, the foursome of Ken Chartrau, Bob Cirilli, Cory Lensing and Michael Morscheck found a new path to success. During their first year and a half together, Sleeping Buddha focused on refining their sound in the studio rather than working it out on stage. Their efforts paid off with the recent release of their debut, self-titled album in early 2006.

With over two full sets of solid material to work with, the group hit the live scene at full speed, surprising unsuspecting crowds in front of them. "Who are these guys?"

Sleeping Buddha's sound has been compared to a blend of Chris Cornell, Live, and Pink Floyd, and some hints of early Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots. The group's live shows are energetic, filled with powerful emotion, and always memorable.