Since his retirement from the U.S. Army several years ago, Cullen Moore (vocals) has dedicated his life to carving out his own path in the music industry. Officially starting Sleep Theory in 2019, the current incarnation of this musical journey began merely as a studio project to fuse his love of hard rock, funk, and R&B.
Now a four-piece band, which came to be on the back of a chance meeting via Facebook Marketplace, Sleep Theory have achieved a pair of No. 1 singles and signed to Epitaph Records. Combining metalcore-like breakdowns with bluesy grooves and a pop sensibility made for modern radio, their single “Numb” also cracked the Top 40 on the Active Rock chart. With the release of their debut EP, Paper Hearts, Sleep Theory is wasting no time in making a name for themselves and will be a band to keep your eyes on in 2024 and beyond.
Paper Hearts kicks off with “Fallout,” which is also the latest single, and gives a foretaste of what is to come from the band as they embark on this musical journey. Right out of the gate some may draw some slight comparison to Meteora era Linkin Park, but they are only slight and not throughout the whole EP. “Enough” follows and carries more of a sense of urgency to it than “Fallout.” Additionally, the track has more melodic approach and is fairly accessible with some slight rock radio sensibility laced within.
“Another Way” keeps things flowing and traverses a middle ground of sorts as it keeps things fairly simple both musically and lyrically. However, even with the more simplistic approach it manages to be an attention grabber and listeners will fin themselves revisiting the track repeatedly. “Gone Or Staying” feels like a less somber ballad of sorts, but in the mix of the lighter elements it still manages to carry an aspect of heaviness that add some additional depth to the track.
“Numb” carries a somewhat unique vocal groove in comparison to the rest of the EP. To some it may go unnoticed, but if you truly listen and dissect you can catch some vocal variances that are not really found on any of the other tracks. “It’s Over” closes out the EP and fits solidly within the overall construct. Each track is well crafted and composed. Given the band’s somewhat short tenure the finished product is a real treat that shows a lot of promise and potential going forward.
Paper Hearts is a solid debut that provides a glimpse of what to expect from the Memphis based band. Talk is already swirling that there will be even more new music coming in 2024 as Sleep Theory continues to pave their own way and make waves in the process.
Paper Hearts is out now via Epitaph Records and is available on all major streaming and digital platforms.
Sleep Theory will be playing a show on September 30th in Reno, NV, Currently, no other dates have been announced, but you can follow the band through Bandsintown to receive updates as any dates are announced.