No Sleep Records has quietly been putting together one of the strongest rosters among indie labels, maybe in history. Bands like The Swellers, Balance And Composure, Sainthood Reps, and Maps For Travelers, have signed on to this haven for bands that deserve to be heard.
Maps For Travelers, hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, kick off their debut with one of the heavier tracks on Change Your Name, “Good Life”. The guttural screaming during the choruses only sets the tone for the album, which leads into their heaviest track, “Life On Repeat”. But aside from heaviness, the musicianship is top notch. This isn’t just chugging guitars and scream/sing vocals. Moments of “Life On Repeat” sound as if they belong to a totally different song, or even band, altogether.
“Matter Of Time” is when Maps For Travelers begin to really find their footing. Perhaps one of the most radio ready songs on the album, “Matter Of Time” brings to mind label mates Balance And Composure. As do a few others, “Swoon” and “456”.
While Maps For Travelers are talented musicians, the one thing they lack is a true defining sound. That actually seems to be an issue with No Sleep Records. Most fans of “the scene” know and appreciate Balance And Composure, but Sainthood Reps is like Brand New-Junior, and The Swellers were (as they are breaking up) grown up skate punk. In fact, in their entire career, their farewell album was their worst. But I digress.
Overall: 3.5/5 Maps For Travelers is a good band. Musically talented, even if they lack identity. Fans of Brand New, Balance And Composure, and Thrice would enjoy Change Your Name. If you’re at all into the scene, this is worth checking out.