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sleepmakeswaves - "sleepmakeswaves" (CD/EP)

sleepmakeswaves - "sleepmakeswaves" CD/EP cover image

"sleepmakeswaves" track listing:

1. One Day You Will Teach Me to Let Go of My Fears
2. By Moving the Stars I Have Found Where You Are Hiding

Reviewed by on January 28, 2011

"The two tracks featured here grasp at the listener and force one to have an attachment to the song's cascading melodies and captivating movements."

Instrumental post-rock is a genre that is defined by its "hit or miss" tendencies, and it takes an exceptional gathering of musicians to be able to pull all the right pieces together in order to create a successful post-rock album. The genre is often plagued with excessively long passages and bland song-writing, lacking anything that latches onto the memory of the listener. Australia's Sleepmakeswaves on the other hand has already mastered the art of creating its enchanting audio landscapes on the band’s debut self-titled release. The two tracks featured here grasp at the listener and force one to have an attachment to the song's cascading melodies and captivating movements.

In a genre that relies solely on the music to tell the song's story, Sleepmakeswaves is to post-rock what Dan Brown is to literature. The music created by Sleepmakeswaves contains all the elements of a great book, yet all the while without any words. While only containing two songs, this self-titled EP is an absolute joy to take in and digest over and over again. The first of the two songs, "One Day You Will Teach Me to Let go of My Fears," features a fantastic song structure that builds suspense and tension with its battle between subtle heaviness and beautiful melodies. As the song moves further onwards the vast layers of sound bleed through and by the time the track comes to an end it feels as if you've just fought a war, with a tranquil silence finally settling in to finish the epic composition.

"By Moving the Stars I Have Found Where You are Hiding" works in a similar way as the previous track but features a distinct stylistic change, or in this case what would be equal to a plot twist in an M. Night Shyamalan film. The soft, trance inducing melodies that Sleepmakeswaves is now known for throughout the post-rock world are done to perfection in the opening moments of the song, and then without any warning a storm of heaviness is unleashed. Upon the first listen, it was an unexpected shift in sound. Although unexpected, the heavier qualities of Sleepmakeswaves mesh perfectly with the other traits of the band's style and create another captivating composition. While "By Moving the Stars I Have Found Where You are Hiding" is not as linear in its direction compared to the previous track, it also offers up some fantastic drumming and overall musical brilliance.

Coming down to a final verdict for Sleepmakeswaves debut is something that isn't easy to do. On one hand the material featured here is stunning and has no distinct flaws of any sort, on the other the EP features only two tracks and has a running time just slightly over eleven minutes in length. The shortness of the release leaves a strong feeling of emptiness when it comes to the overall satisfaction of the album. Then again, isn't that the purpose of releasing an EP to begin with; to make people want more? So in that regard Sleepmakeswaves had hit a home run with its debut. Not only that, but the band has created two exceptional songs that have already placed this young Australian group at the top of a veteran post-rock mountain.

Highs: Amazing songwriting that pulls the listener in.

Lows: Having only two tracks causes a slight sense of disappointment.

Bottom line: Instrumental post-rock with just the right amounts of melody and heaviness.

Rated 4.0 out of 5 skulls
4.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)