When it comes to instrumental rock Australia has produced its fair share of sensational bands over the years. Laura dominated the genre for nearly a decade while as their recent Ivy And The Big Apples tour reminded us Spiderbait weren’t so bad at either when they decided to give the vocals a rest on the odd track.
Of the current crop though it has been sleepmakeswaves that have been a cut above the rest, to the point that if you were a fan of Laura then you really need to take a listen to these guys… if you haven’t already.
Reviewing an instrumental album is never really an easy task because every album seems to be a beast in itself and when you’re reviewing something as fresh and experimental as the sounds created by sleepmakeswaves then who the hell are you supposed to compare them to?
As an album sleepmakeswaves new album, Made Of Breath Only, is an absolute standout, from start to finish this is an album that holds your attention… something that some instrumental albums struggle to do for me sometimes. From the opening strains of Polar you know that you are about to be taken on a journey. As the track dips and swoons you know it’s only an intro, but it promises so much.
That journey then takes off with Worlds Away which sees the hard rock sound really kick in before rising and rising to epic heights, that then flows into To Light And Then Return which features drawn out guitar solos that really show why sleepmakeswaves are instrumental geniuses.
Tundra sees a soft electronic feel drift into the album, and it is quickly joined by some manic guitar work. That electronic sound also surfaces again during Into The Arms Of Ghosts and Hailstones… the latter which again sees the electronica flow with the rock really well.
One of the highlights of the album is The Edge Of Everything which has a slow opening that makes you feel like you are riding on waves but then builds slowly until a reaches a sound that Muse would be proud of. It’s the epic heights like this track that makes this album such a wonderful listen and even smoother tracks like Midnight Sun and Glacial have the listener wanting more and more.
If progressive rock is your thing then Made Of Breath Only is probably going to be one of your favourite albums of this year. Give it a listen and see why sleepmakeswaves are selling out gigs around Australian right now.