The Sleepwalkers – My Best Was Never Good Enough (Stream)
by Steven Spoerl
Yesterday USA Today premiered the first song from The Sleepwalkers’ upcoming record Lost My Mind in Stereo (due out April 8 as a self-release), “My Best Was Never Good Enough”. For a few years now, it’s been one of The Sleepwalkers’ strongest songs during their live sets and the finalized studio version certainly lives up to expectation. The Sleepwalkers have been a band that’s deserved familiarization since before their first official release, The Reckless Kind, back when they were known as Ian Olvera and The Sleepwalkers and long before they moved to Milwaukee. They’re a band that’s consistently found itself in tune with an all-american longing. Open roads, baseball, apple pie, BBQ’s, fireworks, and basement shows all effortlessly evoked in their minutiae.
“My Best Was Never Good Enough” find this aspect of their music reaching new heights, as it seamlessly and simultaneously recalls the likes of The Replacements, Elvis Costello, Big Star, The Heartbreakers, and the Old 97’s. It’s littered with tones that have just enough crunch to make the music sound as dirtied up and hard-learned as Olvera does when he spits out the song’s title in the chorus. From the springboard intro through to the memorable riff that appears throughout and closes the track, “My Best Was Never Good Enough” packs one hell of a punch. Inspired guitar work, a propulsive rhythm section, and Olvera’s masterful lyricism (the entire second verse is a knockout blow) all get propped up to the levels they deserve through pristine production. There’s a down-home aesthetic, some fiery bursts of instrumentation (including one in that miraculous second verse that goes off like a stick of dynamite), and more than a few individual moments that threaten to become inescapable earworms. If anything, give this a listen to remind yourself that rock n’ roll is timeless.