Thursday, April 5, 2012

Sleepless Vol. 1-Issue 1

Our Issue #1 Mixtape has hit the streets!

Each issue of Sleepless features a mixtape of regional heavy bands that we think you should know about. We try and make a good balance of bands that tour with bands that may only be known in one specific area.

The issue #1 mixtape has the following:

Side A:
Vulture-Prick of Misery
Traitors Return to Earth-Smokescreen
Mockingbird-Hard Tellin' Not Knowin'

Side B:
Horseburner-We Expire
Beneath the Remains-Battered and Broken

Each mixtape can be downloaded free (donation suggested) or purchased as a physical cassette from our bandcamp page.

Please visit for the complete track credits and music!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Hey boys and girls!

The last month has been really really crazy for Sleepless: Issue #1 came in from the printers and almost immediately we had a string of 5 release parties and 350 copies out at SXSW 2012 in Austin, Texas.

We are also gearing up the Issue #1 mixtape, which will be sent out along with our subscriptions and distro to many fine spots between Chicago and Charlotte.

To everyone who is waiting on some mail from us: we seriously appreciate your patience as we get our shit together.  This is nobody's full time job (yet), and some people involved with the zine also go to school and work, so there's a lot of irons in the fire; another reason why this zine will remain quarterly for the foreseeable future.

Anyway-we really appreciate everyone's support as we get things moving.  If you'd like to get an annual subscription to the zine please send us an email to with "subscription" in the subject line. Subscribers receive four issues + four mixtapes every year, plus get to participate in reader's polls, get free goodies from us, ticket giveaways for festivals, and find out first about whatever other wild wacky ideas we come up's worth your while, we promise.

Thanks again for your support-Issue #1 fucking rocks.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Thanks to the amazing Jeff Carr Sleepless brings you the 100% hand-drawn cover-art for Issue #1!  As you can see from the art, Issue #1 will feature exclusive interviews with Keelhaul, Mockingbird, and Vulture. We have also expanded from Issue #0's 24 pages to 32 pages of photos, reviews and cartoons.  Issue #1 kicks off a 3-issue series featuring Mr. California's "Sex Pig" comic series, which will run from #1-3.

As this is a collaborative effort, we still need a few things, mostly photos. We take both live band photos and skate photos. If you're in a band and have a few cool live photos laying around, or if you skate and take some photos of it, send them to

We are also always looking to expand our distribution network.  Right now we are looking for more distro spots in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. We distribute to independent record stores, venues that have zine racks, DIY spaces with zine libraries, and anywhere else that wants a few copies. send an email to with "distro" in the subject line.

You can get an annual subscription too, which is 4 issues direct mail plus a tape comp (with download card for those who put their cassette players to rest years ago) with each issue featuring underground heavy bands from throughout the Midwest / Rust Belt U.S.  just send us an email to with "subscription" in the subject line for more details.

Issue #1 will be hitting the streets in early March!  Official release shows are March 9th in Columbus and March 10th in Cleveland. Details TBA.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sleepless At SXSW 2012

We're working hard getting layout set for  issue #1. Basic layout templates are done and we're getting the content slowly but surely together...

In the meantime, we've got some really awesome news:

Thanks to some collaboration with Unhallowed Records out of Athens, OH, we are excited to announce that 350 copies of issue #1 will be making their way to Austin, Texas for South By Southwest 2012!!!

We're really fucking stoked to get Issue #1 down there and hopefully get some more well-deserved attention for the amazing bands that are coming out of the Midwest and Rust Belt U.S.  Many many thanks to everyone who supported the Issue #1 Kickstarter, supported Issue #0 when it came out, and helped get this thing off the ground.  I think we might be on to something here....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Tryblith has emerged from the barren and desolate wastelands of Dayton, Ohio as a refreshing and rather promising black metal band. Their first demo "Convergence of Eternal Winter" saw the group playing rather straightforward, but well done atmospheric black metal very much in the vein of early Darkthrone, Burzum, Mayhem, Ulver etc... With their latest songs exploring aspects of wilderness and shamanic ritualism (very much like WITTR, Fauna, Alda, or Velnias) Tryblith is definitely recommended if you are a fan of the earth-worshiping black metal bands from the Pacific Northwest. These guys have already gotten the opportunity to share the stage with the likes of Battlecross, Death of Desire, Hordes of Nebbulah, Birth of War, Unearthly Torment and Blood Coven. If black metal is your thing, check these guys out-they'll be playing Sunday 2/5 @ Kobo in Columbus OH with Abigail Williams.

online here:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ads from Labels, Bands, Distros and Others: Deadline is Feb. 15th

We are getting the content together for Issue #1 and are doing our first call for ads from DIY labels, bands, independent distros, and people putting on shows. We have a growing regional distribution and absolutely want to support our region's independent record stores, non-corporate venues, and anything or anyone else that in some way supports the regional underground heavy music community. We have already received some response from some labels and venues so time is running out.

Rates are below, all ads run for three months. All ad money goes towards costs of printing, manufacture and distribution.

email for details.

biz card: $25* (out)
1/4 vertical strip: $45*
half page block: $70 (3 remaining)
whole page: $120 (2 remaining)

*If you are a non-profit, co-op (including music-related co-op or musicians' union), FNB/B2P group these ad sizes are free.


There must something about small midwest towns that breed contempt for mainstream normalcy in some kids.  That's certainly true with a very promising young band from Circleville, Ohio known as Dismemberment.  With fast, heavy, and talented songwriting skills, and influenced by such classics as Death, Deicide, Athiest, Pestilence and Obituary, they definitely know how to grab the attention of any old-school thrasher.

Combining pummeling drums, brutal vocals, and shredding guitars from the band's brother guitarists  Luke and Jacob Shively, their debut ep "The Condemned" (recorded 2010 at Paper Tiger studios in Columbus, OH) is fucking heavy. Already this band has had the opportunity to share the stage with national acts such as Mayhem, Immolation, Decapitated, Death Angel, Jungle Rot, Decrepit Birth, Hate, Acheron, and Abigail Williams. They are in the process of finishing their second ep which is due to be released sometime in March.

They'll be at Kobo in Columbus on Feb. 5th with Abigail Williams and Tryblith. Check them out!


Saturday, January 28, 2012


It was a dark and stormy night. No seriously-it was, but despite the rain it was a packed show for a Thursday night show at Ace of Cups with Yob, Mockingbird and White Wolves. The crowd was in HIGH spirits from the start, and it only got better from there. The community vibe was also present; it seemed like just about everyone there knew each other through 3 or 4 degrees of separation.  It was also cool to see people traveling for the show: as Yob's only Ohio date before their stint with Tool, you had people coming from all corners of the state to come party on a Thursday. Hope everyone made it to work on time...I know I cut it pretty damn close.

White Wolves are coming into their own as a Columbus band able to deliver the goods, and have played some pretty solid shows in the last six months. This show was definitely the biggest yet, however, and the pressure was on for White Wolves to put a big notch in their collective belt.  They opened the show pulling no punches, delivering their signature instrumental prog/doom to a friendly hometown crowd.

Mockingbird opened for Yob and mixed in a fair amount of new material into their standard set of tracks from their self-titled album, out on Innervenus Records. There must be a mental lightbulb in drummer Chad Beverlin's head that gets significantly brighter when he's around his kit, because he threw the fucking hammer down in spectacular form, gluing together the bass and guitar lines into a solid mass of awesome. Guitarist/vocalist Andy Strickland and bassist Mike Gilpatrick worked seamlessly together to make riffs that were both far-out and heavy as well as grounded in the streets: whenever I listen to them I always picture driving through Akron's pothole infested neighborhoods looking for some trouble.

With two solid opening acts ratcheting up the crowd with each performance, Yob let the anticipation build (with enough time for us all to go burn another one or two up) before laying into nearly an hour-long set. With the right smells hitting the air, Yob started and pretty much took the crowd to 30,000 feet within the first 8.5 seconds of their set. And at that altitude we cruised for roughly the next hour. Yob has that rare quality of being able to write complex music without sounding contrived and not falling back too heavily on convention. Along with Om, Yob is arguably a standard-bearer for the revival of interest in merging Eastern qualities back into heavy music.

Yob has built up an increasingly warm welcome in Columbus since Scion 2009, their first real Cbus appearance since reforming under founder Mike Scheidt (guitar/vocals), Aaron Reiseberg (bass), Travis Foster (drums). Their set the other night at Ace of Cups proves why: they're friendly, unpretentious, and mind-blowing musicians; they GIVE respect to their audience and deservedly get it in return.  They have come a long way on their journey, and we wish them the best.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Detroit's Chapstik are the band of the day because they have an album called "Fire, Die in It!" with BBQ'ed pig on the front cover.

Seriously though, these guys take the cake for January 26th, 2012 because they can lay down some  hazy grooves while managing to keep enough of a punk rock mentality to keep the music from getting stale. Chapstik's music goes over just as well on a skateramp as it does in a GTO, and not all heavy music has that kind of versatility.

The riffs throughout this band's catalog are solid, and they have the pieces in all the right places: a bass with some thump, three fuzzed out guitars blasting out over pounding drums, and two vocalists who can carry a tune just as easily as he can howl.

They just put out a new 7" split with Against the Grain. If you don't know about these dudes, you probably should:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


By all observation, Cincinnati is in the midst of a heavy music resurgence in recent years, and Beneath Oblivion has been responsible for a lot of it, especially behind the scenes: organizing shows, helping touring bands, and making sure that word gets out. Even if Beneath Oblivion isn't on the bill, you can usually find at least one member of their band at a heavy show in or around the city.

There is something contemplative about their music that makes the overwhelming darkness of the music and seriousness of the lyrical content above the average expected output from an underground band.  This is a good thing.  Beneath Oblivion pushes boundaries, blending blackened, funeral doom with more progressive, blues-based influences. The result is a desolate soundscape that is both haunting at an intellectual level while remaining grounded in the reality of their experiences.

They have an impressive collection of vinyl records out courtesy of Mylene Sheath Records, and have built up a solid regional fan base through semi-regular touring. They recently got a write-up in Decibel magazine, which is also pretty fucking awesome.

They'll be playing Saturday Jan. 28th with Ohio psych/sludge mainstays Red Sun and also Cleveland locals Blood-Alcohol Content and JJ Grimm (ex-Decrepit) at Now That's Class, 9pm.

Check them out:

Sunday, January 22, 2012


The first thing about Horseburner those dudes can write some gnarly riffs. This is the soundtrack to a smoke-filled van cruising down a back road at 2:00AM.  Going to see Horseburner live for the first time, you might be tempted to say to yourself "wait, these guys are from...where?" Like most bands that hail from small towns, they have a sound that is bigger than their surroundings, probably as a mental escape from the humdrum that makes small towns the place where youth goes to die.  They definitely have a lot going for them, especially with their latest announcement of recording sessions at the Jam Room in South Carolina.

Here's to Parkersburg, West Virginia's finest-best of luck in 2012 dudes!

check them out:

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Poney is a psychedelic/stonerrock/hardcore punk group founded in 2005 in central Wisconsin and led by Ben Brooks, who has been involved in 
a variety of Wisconsin underground acts including The Dead Hookers (Dead Beat Records,) Uncle Bob Drives a Combine (Gilead Media,)
 and the currently active ROMERO (GRINDCORE KARAOKE RECORDS).  They've recently returned from a 16 show tour out to Seattle / Portland
 and back in support of their new full length, "Seamyth," alongside Romero.  The album has received positive reviews both nationally and internationally, 
and the band has been building a solid underground following based on their insane live shows.  They've shared the stage with seasoned acts like Rosetta, 
Century, Heavyheavylowlow, Triclops, Mose Giganticus, The Atlas Moth, KEN Mode, After the Burial, and Born of Osiris, among many others.

These dudes rock-check them out!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, By Way of Sunstorm has pulled off some pretty impressive shows in its existence. If recent performances with Truckfighters, Enabler, and Mouth of the Architect are any indication, they show no signs of changing that pattern any time soon.

Merging doom and thrash with more progressive influences, and relying on a heady two-guitar combo, the band has a great live presence with the talent to back it up.

As comfortable on a club stage as they are in a DIY spot, they are definitely one of the best heavy bands in Dayton, and they've expanded to play shows all across the state. 

Check them out here and catch them live:


Some bands are about three missed rental payments from getting evicted, but they throw some cool parties and through music have found a way to constructively channel their alcoholism, and might even get laid regularly because of it. These are called "musicians": nothing wrong with that at all-some really good shows and classic records are the product of "musicians" and that's awesome.

Then, there are bands who are actual musicians, artists who take their craft seriously and absolutely will not stop working until they have given something to the world that pushes boundaries and force their listener to pay attention through the sheer magnitude of their creation.  Before the Eyewall is in this second category.

Their multi-part, multi-layered compositions flow into each other in unique time signatures and rhythms to the point that graceful becomes about the only word to describe it.  Few bands are capable of using music to express complex human emotion: Joy Division and Neurosis are definitely two good examples. But to play heavy music without vocals, purely instrumental, and achieve that same visceral impact is something truly amazing to hear.

check them out:

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Elements necessary for a legendary heavy rock band:
1) A guitarist that actually plays, without relying on studio processors or FX pedals to cheat for him.
2) A massive bass tone that can move small objects down a bar.
3) A singer capable of pushing his soul through a microphone night after night for upwards of 20 days straight.
4) a drummer that beats the shit out of his kit but still has enough mental control and physical strength to play with finesse.
5) a van that seems to have a personality of its own.
6) $30 in gas money to the next show.
7) A work ethic that rivals the early Pioneers.

Lo-pan was already a big deal before they got signed to Small Stone, released arguably one of the best heavy rock albums of 2011, and became a staple on the national club circuit. These dudes live, breathe, eat, and smoke music. Experiencing Lo-pan is seriously like taking four blue collar working dudes, giving them instruments, and telling them: "write what you feel".  They don't take shit from ANYONE, are some of the most loyal and unassuming guys you'll ever meet, and can knock it the fuck out of the park, night after night.
They are an inspiration to watch, and they lead by example: make something solid, be honest about it, work your ass off, and good things will likely happen.  

You can catch them tomorrow night in Columbus at Ace of Cups with Survivalist, Swiss Army Mouth, and Hookers Made Out of Cocaine. You can also catch them at SXSW, as they will be performing as part of the Small Stone Records showcase.

check them out:

safe travels out there guys.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Although it's called the Stop Online Piracy Act, we've all heard this one before (PATRIOT ACT sound familiar?) SOPA would give multinational corporations the ability to censor the internet at will, colluding with their government-for-hire to remove any content they wish, without any due process or fair hearing. 

As a community outlet dedicated to artistic expression, censorship of any kind is disgusting to us. This law, if passed, would take away freedom from the most free place in the world: the internet!

Sleepless Zine is in solidarity with the SOPA strike!

Lamar Smith (R) of Texas is the primary sponsor of the bill: blow up his phone lines today!

Washington, DC Office

  • 2409 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
  • ph: 202-225-4236
  • fax: 202-225-8628
  • 8:30 am- 6:00 pm EST

San Antonio District Office

  • 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio, TX 78209
  • ph: 210-821-5024
  • fax: 210-821-5947
  • 8:00 am- 5:00 pm M-F

Kerrville District Office

  • 301 Junction Highway, Suite 346C Kerrville, TX 78029
  • ph: 830-896-0154
  • fax: 830-896-0168
  • 8:00 am- 12:00 pm M-Th

SUCCESS! Issue #1 Kickstarter Goal Achieved

Today Jan. 17th 2012 Sleepless zine achieved another milestone and reached its Issue #1 Kickstarter goal, and people are still pledging to get a piece of the Issue #1 rewards, including a limited edition 11x17 print, free copies of the print zine, and pre-orders of the first mixtape compilation.

Everyone involved with the zine has been blown away by the generosity, encouragement, and support of the regional heavy/hardcore/experimental underground musical community: experimental noise gurus have pledged funds alongside longtime stoner rockers, hardcore kids have tossed into the donation bucket with longhair thrashers and black metal dudes, and old friends came out from literally all over the country to help get this thing fueled and ready to blast off.

It really shows to us that we're on the right track; that there is a phenomenally diverse, talented, and dedicated community of musicians, fans, supportive businesses and community members who understand that there is something special happening in this region right now.

We will be listing everyone who is an official Supporter and Friend of Sleepless zine in the coming weeks, but everyone who made a pledge of support has our thanks. We look forward to giving something back to the community that has given us our start.  There are some big plans on the horizon, so stay tuned for more!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Traitors Return to Earth is all about big: big riffs and big amps, for starters. From the first listen of their EP 'Smokescreen' the band has established itself as a high-caliber Columbus band among the DIY underground community. Led by guitarist Kevin Masters, the band has shared the stage with Beast in the Field, Let the Night Roar, and Artillery Breath, among others. They are in the process of recording a new album that promises to crush speakers, ears, and minds.

They are definitely a band to watch for 2012. Check out their EP free here:

and follow them here too:


Aside from putting out some of the most gut-wrenching music ANY side of Scioto River, the Bastards from Columbus, OH are also responsible for some of the most hilarious cracked-out flyers of any band playing in the Rust Belt/Midwest underground. But back to the music: in a word, uncompromising. When you wake up the morning after a Bastards show with aching ribs and ringing ears still drunk from the night before you know you had one hell of a time. Bassist Joel Archibald also happens to be one of the coolest dudes on the planet, making custom speaker cabs for fellow Columbus musicians and being one of the brains behind the Dudelocker Festival, now in it's 4th year running.

check them out here for some music:

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Playing some of the best underground Doom and Sludge live on-air! It's a great radio show, and definitely one to check out!

The show is going from 4-8 here:

check it out starting at 4PM!


To quote Jack Endino from the recent underground documentary "Such Hawks Such Hounds", the 'grunge' and 'stoner rock' tags that emerged in the 1990s are just 70s hard rock and heavy metal continued, just with a punk rock aesthetic. Since both those labels have become quite distasteful for a lot of people involved in the music these days, let's just call Thee Now Sound a heavy rock band out of Zanesville, Ohio.  Definitely in the vein of Mudhoney and 'Wretch'-era Kyuss, the band has been playing out in Columbus and Cleveland and has two EPs up online that have been getting good reviews from places like the Columbus Music Review and

you can get their music free here!:

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Just FYI, you can now link directly to our Issue #1 kickstarter from the tab at the upper left of the main screen, just below our awesome banner.  As of this writing, we are 2/3 of the way to our goal to put out Issue #1 and its accompanying compilation album featuring bands from across Rust Belt U.S.A.

Rewards begin at a $5 pledge and have no limit.

Thanks to all the bands and individuals who have already pledged their support to help get Issue #1 off the ground.  Your support is greatly appreciated.


Hailing from Detroit, MI and rising from vocalist Jay Navarro's (ex-Suicide Machines) desire to create something heavier and faster than his previous band, Hellmouth is making a big impact in defining Detroit's rebirth: loud, gritty, and pissed.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


There's really not much to say that hasn't already been said about this incredible band. If These Trees Could Talk are a quasi-spiritual experience live and on record their music has a meditative quality while not falling into the trap of most bands that get the post-rock tag. The thing that keeps them from being your generic next-door post-rock band is that they can lay down a groove just as easily as take off towards Jupiter. Also, the fact that they aren't afraid to play a power chord every now and then, rather than just letting delay pedals do all the work and noodling around for 15 minutes. They distill their music down into something that is both keeping with post rock's march to destroy standard rock conventions while also being accessible. They're playing with Pelican in Belgium this year.  It's ok, we were jealous too.


Thanks to the amazing generosity of a small cadre of music lovers from across the region, we are HALFWAY to meeting our kickstarter goal!

Thanks to the following people and bands who have helped us meet this milestone:

Traitors Return to Earth
Harvey (Greifhound / Leach Mine / Snuff Film)
Scott Massie (Innervenus Records / Storm King)
Kelly G. (Vulture)
Jared Lubawski (Beneath the Remains / Rottrevore)
The Goonz
Justin Ringle
Thee Now Sound
Jason (Deathcrawl)
Lisa Miraella (WCSB 89.3 Cleveland / Mysterious Black Box)
Shivering Timbers

There you have it. bands, radio, record labels, and individuals who recognize that there is something amazing and authentic happening here in our own backyards that is a lot better than the plastic music and culture trying to jam itself into our minds.

Please take a moment to pledge to help get issue #1 off the ground. Pledges can be as little as $1 and as much as you feel like. Every little bit helps.



Crushing down from Milwaukee Wisconsin, Enabler has a simple ethos when it comes to music: "The world is fucked and this is the soundtrack to its demise."  No disagreement here.  The best word to describe this band is explosive, and that's exactly what their live show does.  Merging crust, sludge, and thrash together seamlessly, Enabler throws the gauntlet down.

Check them out:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Hailing from Buffalo, NY by way of Puerto Rico, K.D.C. are a heavy hardcore band that can rage. Moving increasingly towards darker more riff-heavy songs, it seems that the northernmost edge of the Rust Belt has provided the band with plenty of bleak inspiration. K.D.C is one of the most physically aggressive live bands in the region and backs it up with tight musicianship in the traditions of bands like 108 and Inside Out.

Check them out here:

Monday, January 9, 2012


Raging out of Chicago, Heaving Mass began in 2009 with members of both American Heritage and Blood of the Tyrant. Equal parts crushing, progressive, and rooted in a DIY aesthetic, the band has crossed the Midwest region several times.  Rather than trying to ape their already-established contemporaries, the band has instead chosen to try and merge several distinct styles together.  They've shared stages with some of the most forward thinking artists in the underground, including Yakuza and Black Skies.

Check them out!


White Wolves at the Summit in Columbus, OH

White Wolves began as the doom-filled instrumental side project of Chris Thompson (guitar) and Chris Burnsides (drums), who also play for the prog-metal band Sleepers Awake.  With the addition of Jack Huston on bass, they've quietly worked their way up the ladder playing with such bands as Bringers of Disease, Red Sun, and Megachurch and others. 

Check out links to their music here:

Along with Akron's Mockingbird, White Wolves will be supporting YOB Jan. 26th at the Ace of Cups in Columbus, OH.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Sleepless has added the Milestone in Charlotte, NC to our distro network!

This place is one of the most legendary venues in the South, and the list of bands that have played there reads like a who's who of underground heavy music: Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Scream, Bad Brains, Neurosis, Corrosion of Conformity, Torche, Nebula, Thrones, the Melvins, Buzzov• can check the full list at their website:

As our southernmost distro location, anyone in the area should check them out:
3400 Tuckaseegee Road - Charlotte NC 28208


Sin Nombre, from Columbus, OH is a southern sludge-influenced band, self described as Southern Stoner Scuzz Metal. According to the band they're currently writing new material. Members include Zachary Young-Bass, Scott Sprague-Drums, Scott Corney & Arturo De Leon-Vox & Guitars.  Past members include Bob Brinkman, who currently plays bass w/ Bridesmaid.

Check them out at:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Dreadful Sounds Records Added to Sleepless Distro Network!

Dreadful Sounds in Columbus Ohio has been added to our Distro Network! check them out and pick up a copy of Issue #0 FREE:

Mon - Sat:12:00 pm-8:00 pm
Sun:12:00 pm-6:00 pm


Since forming in the mid 2000s, Churches Burn has brought an sometimes unrecognized but uncompromising integrity to the Rust Belt/Midwest underground heavy music scene. A power trio with only two instruments, Brian Carnahan (bass), Adam Boehm (drums), and Alyssa Osborne (bass) have remained persistent in playing anywhere that will have them, from backyards to basements to bars and everywhere in between. They often play for free or for whatever donations can be spared, and have toured across the region several times while keeping all their albums and tour demos available for free.

Check them out here:

and also here for links to all their free music:

Friday, January 6, 2012


Loud. Experimental. Desolate. If we had to sum up Griefhound, these three words are pretty appropriate.
Featuring the core duo from Snuff Film (Harvey-12 string bass // Novak-drums) and backed by a wall of Sunn cabs, Griefhound lays down some of the most uncompromising sludge on ANY side of the Cuyahoga River.

Listen to the Griefhound/Cane Swords split here!