Sandbox is a seven song EP from Whitewater, Wisconsin-based one man band Idledaze, released in anticipation of a full length album due out spring of 2024. Idledaze performs as a solo act but also does cover projects as a the Idledaze Trio with a setlist that spans everything from Alice in Chains to Zeppelin.
Sandbox as a whole trends toward a bluesy flavor with a country-tinged edge, especially with the fun 90’s feeling video made for the track “Hot Feet” that you can see over on YouTube. Interspersed throughout the rollicking bass lines and meandering guitar is Idledaze himself amongst a montage of oil paintings and a Chicago go-go dancer (hence the name, not a reference to Quentin Tarantino’s favorite body part). Evidently a big oil painting guy, the album art for Sandbox is based on artwork done by his sister.
The first track “In The Mood” feels like an ode to Full Moon Fever era Tom Petty, classic rock adjacent but still having enough swagger to stand on it’s own. Easily something that I could find myself listening to but also share with my Dad who would say something like “pretty cool” or “has a nice beat” (high praise, coming from Rick). Track four, “Grow Farmer” reminded me a lot of newer Modest Mouse with lots of experimentation going on – unique sounds, clever sampling, and the chant-like vocals throughout. As per the artist, this was made with the intention of being a “nod to digital sampling hip/hop rap and shout out to farmers world wide growing their crop to yield our pain.”
Track six, “Jack Wild,” is based on an actual fan/friend whose backyard happenings are a true Midwestern delight. Some of the best songs are complete nonsense with lyrics that the listener can interpret in any way they please, but it’s always a great time when you can write about something tangible like this. “Jack Wild” is a dirty rock and roller that sounds like it would be the perfect fit at a get together like this one – of particular note is the bouncing bassline that’s sure to get you moving from home while you pretend you’re five Coors Light deep standing directly in front of those backyard speakers.
“Rock n Roll Lover” is one of the more straight solid bangers where Idledaze… well… ROCKS out. It’s a nonstop mash of guitar solos, tight drums, and guttural sounds vocals befitting a Wisconsinite after a Kwik Trip run for a 30 rack of Miller Highlife (no relation). He really sticks the landing on the end of the track; ending with an echo effect on the vocals so that “rock and roll…… roll….. rollllll” reverberates through your skull. I say this all with zero sarcasm or malice; I really think that classic rock has a place and is a legitimately fun genre that is still enjoyed by millions of all ages. I recall many fond memories of my Dad jamming to Led Zeppelin, Allman Bros Band, Grateful Dead etc. It’s easy to be a music snob and turn your nose up at some of that, but we wouldn’t have 90% of the music we have today without a lot of these great bands.
Definitely give Idledaze a listen if you’re classic rock fan or want to hop on the nostalgia train. He has a healthy back catalogue that you can check out on Spotify or the band’s website. Be sure to let us know what you think over on our social media pages!