Sleepmakeswaves - Made Of Breath Only album review

Aussie post-rock instrumentalists’ art house cinematic third.

Sleepmakeswaves - Made Of Breath Only album artwork

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It’s no simple task to get yourself noticed when you don’t have a singer: it’s a brave gambit for a rock band.

Yet Sydney quartet Sleepmakeswaves have gradually built a devoted following and a fair amount of acclaim in Australia for their widescreen instrumental visions, and their sound has a bolder character than ever on this follow-up to 2014’s Love Of Cartography. Where Sleepmakeswaves succeed best is in combining a hardcore heaviosity with a cinematic electronic aesthetic and a progressive desire to unsettle and wrong-foot the listener. Metal? Prog? Synth rock? Post-rock? All and none of the above. The keyboard and synth washes of founder member Alex Wilson give a symphonic, majestic feel to cavernous soundscapes such as Glacial, but the throbbing guitar wall of Otto Wicks-Green and Daniel Oreskovic are satisfyingly dense and intense throughout, and when they crash through the ceiling on the avalanching 34 tempo of Tundra it’s really quite breathtaking. Meanwhile, the snatches of electronica and Wilson’s elastic bass flourishes on Hailstones give the piece an oddly futuristic, dystopian feel. Anyone fancy making the impressionistic art house movie this music is crying out to soundtrack?

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock