sleepmakeswaves – these are not your dreams: EP Review

Three years since their 2017 release Made Of Breath Only, Australian instrumental Post Rock trio sleepmakeswaves – Alex, Otto and Tim – come back with a vengeance on a three EP extravaganza.

Release Date: 17th July 2020

Label: Birds Robe

Format: DL / CD / vinyl

The band who “write love songs about delay pedals” have taken the bold step to release their new music as three EPs and continue their blatant disregard for capital letters

Each release has been put together to convey something specific about where the band have headed artistically over the last two years. Having already released the first EP (No Safe Place) in February, we’ve got the next installment to take in, together with a chance to catch the final part and appreciate the full experience.

  1. No Safe Place

Not resting on any laurels, The Endings That We Write provides a dynamic introduction. Wondering how three people can make such a huge cacophonous noise, there’s a devastation that contrasts with some peaceful piano passages but not for long. An emphasis on sending things into orbit relaxes only at the close of the eleven-minute intro to the new set.

The Post Rock genre might focus on atmospheres, dynamics and visions of space and infinite galaxies, but the first EP kicks that definition into touch. Time Wants A Skeleton and Cascades (particularly with the choral vocal passage) might fit the brief, but the power unleashed in Batvia is frightening. The insistent rhythms transform into shrill guitars and explosive bursts.

2. Out Of Hours

A personal favourite piece, Pyramids picks up the baton of urgency with a rawness and dare I say raggedness you’d not expect in the post Rock field. It’s like the spirit Neil Young has drifted in and charged the band into some splendid riffing and lead lines.

Zelda offers a flurry and frenzy of instrumental prowess and makes the second of the EPs a much more melodic experience. Even the rarity of some cool AOR vocals from Otto sneak in mid-song making this a more accessible part of the overall package.

Juddering sequencers provide the backdrop to Menthol and there’s an inspired riff within a minute and a half of Embraced that evokes the kind of headbanging fist-pumping that Pearl Jam inspires. Gives Pyramids a run for its money and may even just pip it at the post.

Just like trying to pick a favourite child, if I could only take one of the EPs to my desert island, it would be Out Of Hours.

3. Not An Exit

The final four tracks are tasked with the job of ‘bringing things down a little’. With Mind Palace, there’s an element of being transported to ‘another place; a comfort zone where it sounds like The Edge has lent some of his guitar sounds to Serenity Now. That title together with Lofi Nylon, adds to the expectancy of relaxation and shift towards a state of dreamlike calm.

The shortest of the three releases, it seems over quickly, almost and epilogue to the strong intensity that’s come before. It adds to the sense of musical moods that the band wanted to stress across the three releases. Yes, sleepmakeswaves have delivered a lot of music and makes the decision to release bite sized chunks a sensible one.

Listen to The Endings That We Write here:

You can read sleepmakeswaves’ Alex Wilson’s Why I Love feature Smashing Pumpkins on our pages here

sleepmakeswaves online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / Bandcamp

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