Sleep – ‘The Clarity’ 12″ Vinyl Review

Although ‘The Clarity’ first appeared in 2014 as a download-only single, 2017 marks the first occasion that the new track from the stoner-legends has appeared in physical form. Southern Lord, a label with a reputation for putting out outstanding releases, have risen to the occasion and crafted a limited edition 12” vinyl that will have fans of the band salivating. Packaged in a clear plastic sleeve with the band’s distinctive logo printed across the surface in glow-in-the-dark ink, the 12”, heavyweight vinyl disc is a one-sided affair with the b-side featuring a stunning etching (pictured below) guaranteed to make this a genuine collector’s piece. Available on orange, white and black vinyl, ‘Clarity’ is a super limited gem and is available here.

For those who missed the track the first time round, ‘Clarity’ itself is a bruising return from a band who had not gathered together in the studio since 2003’s epic ‘Dopesmoker’. A suitably spaced-out track that draws together the band’s fuzz-laden sound, hypnotic lyrics and pummeling percussion to provide a near-summation of the band’s many strengths in one single, ten-minute package, ‘The clarity’ is a joy to behold. Despite the intervening years, the band’s sound has barely changed and their ability to drift through somnolent passages and edgy tempo-changes remains undiminished, whilst the vinyl pressing brings out the analogue heft of the band’s bass-heavy rumble. At around five minutes, a glorious solo rings out across the surface of the track and, at this point, it becomes clear that ‘The clarity’ is not so much about recapturing past glories as it is about giving flight, one more time, to the very real fire that burns in the collective heart of the three piece.

‘The clarity’ is a testament to the enduring power of Sleep and an impressive return to the studio from one of the stoner rock scene’s most revered bands. Although the track has been out there for some two years or so, this is the first opportunity to buy it in physical format and Southern Lord have made sure that it is an edition worthy of the band’s musical genius. Don’t miss out. 9


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