See Change

Don't Sleep
FeaturedSee Change

June 2nd, 2023


Melodic hardcore band Don't Sleep are preparing to release their sophomore album, 'See Change.' The 9-track LP was co-produced by the GRAMMY-nominated team of Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland (August Burns Red, Silverstein) and will be out on June 2 via End Hits Records. The band, made up of Dave Smalley (DAG NASTY, ALL, DOWN BY LAW, DYS) on vocals, bassist Garrett Rothman (Junction), drummer Jim Bedorf, and guitarists Tom McGrath (Very Americans) and Tony Bavaria (The Commercials, Very Americans), has released the first single "Promise Made," along with a Josh Nesmith-directed music video, which can be streamed below. Of the track, Smalley says, ""We believe in the promise made -- keep in mind the promise made!" This is a song about hardcore and growing up in this music, one that is much more than just notes -- hardcore means taking care of each other, and trying to make things better, one day at a time, against all odds, starting with ourselves. As a line in the song says: "It shaped me, and it shaped you!" Chances are if you are reading these words, you are a hardcore lifer. That is awesome! It doesn't mean you have to listen to hc 24/7 -- although that is certainly cool too -- and there is huge value in other genres of music -- metal, reggae and ska, jazz, you name it, But for sure, punk rock and hardcore refined us, from putty into steel. This song is sort of the grown-up continuation to that idea, which is: we're still going. We believe in the promise made. In that way I guess it's kind of a love song to hardcore." The record combines all elements you have liked about Dave Smalley’s music in the past while sounding incredibly contemporary in the here and now. Big help to make “See Change” sound so fresh and current came from an unlikely pair of producers, the Grammy award winning team of Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland.

Guitarist Tony Bavaria explains the unusual choice:

“While they've worked a lot in the metalcore world (i.e. August Burns Red, Polaris) they've also done some really great sounding rock records for bands like Live, Candlebox, and Everclear. But they are also local hardcore / punk guys we knew for almost twenty years. Knowing how talented they are and the diversity of their work, we really wanted to see what they would be able to bring to the table. It was awesome to have the opportunity to work with them in a world class studio that would probably not be available to a hardcore band like us!”

The end result couldn’t be more of a testament to the shared chemistry between band and producers. From the blazing hardcore opener “Harrisburg Graves” to the catchy mid-tempo punk rock of “Promise Made”, from the epic chorus of “20.20” to the subtle off beat and reggae leanings of “Love is the suture”:

There is something here for all Smalley and punk fans, no matter what of his projects you first fell in love with while the powerful modern production sounds very rooted in the here and now. Along the catchiness and amazing musical energy DON’T SLEEP’s “See Change” is also full of lyrical inspiration – as you would expect from a band fronted by Dave Smalley.

Bassist Garreth elaborates: “I think we've always had the perspective of seeing music and punk/hardcore as a positive force, where the people involved can make a difference in the world around them. It's been reflected in our name and in our album title "See Change". If you see injustice or something that needs to change in your surroundings, make it happen, visualize it, "See Change", know it's possible, and work to make it better.”