Four Days Deep is the fifth album release for Oakland-based Sentinel, and it has all the trappings of their typically large, airy sound –an impressive feat for a band with only three members. On this LP the self-appointed purveyors of “dream pop” fall short of their mission to “[make] music that moves and transports listeners”, but still manage to procure a couple of notables.
The album starts out slow with a track called “Kinda Light Up” -probably more accurate a title than Sentinel would have hoped. As with most of the tracks on the album, its beginning is crisp and tight, but takes an inevitable turn for the repetitive. This cloak of monotony seems to be lifted with “All That’s Necessary”, a song that does start strong and fresh but ultimately falls victim to the same fate. There are a string of three or so forgettable tracks, most of which should be described as bumbling. “Locator” in particular hints at Sentinel’s ambition but ends up sounding like the ’90s took Quaalude and stared at the wall for five hours.
“Whaley”, a middle track that showcases some very pretty sounding guitar, is a welcome respite from the tedium, as is “Sunset”, the album’s last –and best- track. This is where the guitar and vocals are strongest and Sentinel is able to demonstrate a bit of originality. Incidentally, it’s the only song that made me tap my foot, though it’s also worth mentioning that the reason for this may be, as my boyfriend says, that it sounds like a Dance Dance Revolution track. I suppose something that can elicit such conflicting responses is worth listening to.