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 3⁄4 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?