Sleeping in the Aviary was formed in 2003 and underwent a few lineup changes before founding members and long-time friends Elliott Kozel and Phil Mahlstadt finally found their perfect match in former Eyebeams songwriter and drummer, Michael Sienkowski. The band recorded their debut album, “Oh, This Old Thing?” with Ricky Riemer at Science of Sound, a basement studio in Madison where they felt they could achieve what they were looking for – a crisp and full recording while maintaining a DIY ethic.
The CD version of “Oh, This Old Thing?” (Science of Sound) was released February 6, 2007. Vinyl was then released February 20, 2007 and includes 7 songs exclusive to the vinyl (only available for purchase at
Sleeping in the Aviary has been touring the country in support of their debut release, and plan on buckling down to record their sophomore album in November, with a release scheduled for early 2008.
"In fewer than 25 minutes, Sleeping in the Aviary's Oh, This Old Thing? establishes the band as a viable contender for the Next Big Indie Thing. The Madison, Wisconsin trio's Science of Sound debut is flat out exciting — like riding the Gravitron at the carnival (minus the subsequent urge to vomit). The sound is at times reminiscent of bands like The Libertines and The Vines, filled with driving rock 'n' roll but also offering moments of delightful pop melodies ("Gloworm") or Art Brut-style calamity ("Maureen")...."
--Betsy Boston, Three Imaginary Girls
"On Oh, This Old Thing?, Sleeping In The Aviary prove that pop pulchritude and punk frenzy are always a winning combination. Whether singer Elliott Kozel is setting the hook of the too-brief “Gloworm” with his best impression of a vaudevillian warble or the whole Aviary crew are tumbling headlong through the full-scale guitar-bass-drums freakout that is “Drug Suitcase,” the result is always irresistible..."
--Tom Laskin, The Isthmus
Hailing from the City of Madison in the great state of Wisconsin, Sleeping in the Aviary whips up stomping, stuttering indie rhythms and attitudinal garage pop over the course of 23 minutes and 13 songs. There’s not much here that you haven’t already heard done by plenty of other bands on the dive circuit but rarely have you heard it done with so much promise or unapologetic authority. There are clues to the band’s depth and intelligence amid all the raw power – “Sign My Cast” owes as much to Nick Cave as it does the mellowed-down Violent Femmes; “Lanugo” could be an outtake from the second Strokes album – thought violent, affably arrogant punk reigns supreme, especially in the Replacements-esque “Only Son” and “No Socks.” This band has more to offer than perhaps even it realizes and should it stay in the game long enough to make one more record and another after that we may all be in for a wild, fun and occasionally heartfelt ride.
— Jedd Beaudoin, Wichita City Paper, March 22, 2007
Madison’s Sleeping in the Aviary calls up the sound of London, circa 1978, specifically, a high-speed collision of Wire and the Buzzcocks, with echoes of the early Kinks. Their songs are short, serrated, sonic jabs, all catchy choruses and arresting hooks, powerful guitar crescendos and Anglophile accents. Oh, This Old Thing? flows dynamically with enough down-shifts from the furious punk tempo to give the ear a rest. Oh, This Old Thing? is the debut album from a band we hope to hear more from in the future.
– David Luhrssen, The Shepherd Express, 2007
"The folks who left before Sleeping in the Aviary took the stage should kick themselves - hard. Raw, punky and a little nerdy, the young Madison, Wis., band played hard and fast, sweating and even panting a little bit. Their songs were surprisingly catchy ..." The Spin, Nashville Scene