Review Cassandra Hale
Sydney band sSleepmakeswaves were a very fitting opener for what was to be an amazing night of prog rock at its finest. I can’t say I have seen an instrumental band before so it was a new experience for me, but I was pleasantly surprised. These guys were really good, their music was innovative with lots of changes as you would expect from the genre. The barefooted drummer Tim Adderley was extremely technical and his skills evident in every song. Their love for progressive music was obvious from the get-go, with this tight foursome genuinely invested and enjoying every second of the 40-minute set.
Melbourne music goers turned up early to check out the support act, nothing new for me, but for the band, it was huge, their biggest turnout of the tour. From what I saw sleepmakeswaves were enjoyed by all, heads nodding in approval throughout the set. Melbournians love their live music and are always happy to support all bands on the bill, not just the main attraction.
If progressive rock/metal is your thing and you are looking for something new give sleepmakeswaves a spin, I am sure you will not be disappointed. I can’t believe they have been playing for 11 years and I am only hearing them now.
Packed to the rafters and then some, the first show of the Devin Townsend Project’s Transcendence tour sold out in rapid fashion and hence a second show was added on the Tuesday night. Can I say I was utterly blown away by this show, absolutely amazing from go to whoa. What a frontman and performer Devin Townsend is, his fan interaction is like nothing I have ever seen before, so grateful for his fans and letting them know it at every opportunity. His jokes and banter with the fans were fabulous and I can see why he has such a huge fanbase.
Right on time, opening with Rejoice it was evident that Devin was unwell, but it only took one song for a sore throat to be put on the back burner and deliver one of the best prog metal show I have seen. Night followed and the crowd swelled forward heads banging in unison. Everything you wanted to hear was there, Stormbending, Failure, and Hyperdrive set the fans on fire, and we all sang our hearts out to Where we Belong and I think Devin was grateful for a reprieve if only for a minute or two.
Deadhead, Ziltoid Goes Home and Supercrush flowed perfectly in this amazing arc of music, which tells a story like no other, smokes cannons heightened the show and the well-behaved crowd reveled in the special effects. Musically and technically perfect, Ryan VanPoederooyen was a demon on drums, with some insane double bassing, raising the bar very high for any prospective progressive drummers out there. Full credit to Dave Young, Brian ‘Beav’ Waddell and Mike St-Jean, all first class musicians who make the show what it is, but I neglected to watch them as much as I should as I was almost mesmerised by Devin. His voice, his facial expressions, and banter was almost a show in itself.
The atmosphere was electric as March of the Poozers rang out, followed by Kingdom which sent the fans into a frenzy of banging heads and pumping fists. It was now that we had a ‘pretend’ encore, it worked well as we chanted for more while the band lapped up the applause. Then time to sing along to Ih-Ah, this slowed proceedings for a few minutes and it was interesting to learn that this song came to Devin in a dream, hence the strange name. He is very forthcoming with insight into his songwriting which as a fan gives you a deeper connection to the music you love. Another reason to applaud this highly talented musician.
The Death of Music, followed by Higher off the latest album Transcendence finished up the night. Higher was technically perfect in every way, and a damn fine song to end the night on a massive high. We all witnessed Devin using throat spray during the night to assist his voice, and although unwell he still made time to shake hands and say thank you to his fans long after the band had left the stage. While he can sing with such angst and torment, he is also a gentleman that any mother would be proud to call their son. The perfect face of progressive metal. There is one show left in Perth, and if you haven’t got tickets, do it now!
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED ROGER BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED ROGER BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY
SLEEPMAKESWAVES – MADE OF BREATH ONLY
Release: March 24, 2017
℗ 2017 Bird’s Robe Records
Review Submitted by Lauren Carney
sleepmakeswaves, Sydney’s post-rock instrumental band is back again with their 3rd album made of breath only set to release Friday March 24th and also sees the band hit the road for their upcoming headline tour. There is just something about this album that really pulls you into an endless journey that sees you embark on a new chapter with each track.
our days were showing. opening up with a very short 1.37 track that has some eerie whispers in the background and the soft chimes of guitar creeping up on you, Seems to set the tone that you are in some kind of horror film with the sounds of saw in the background.
worlds away packed with frenzied guitars as well as that elegant melody helps to provide the perfect balance of an almost 8 minute long ballad.
to light and then return. Straight off the bat we hear those heavier guitar sounds that are just packed with melody. As the track moves forward, you begin to hear a more elegant sound that turns into some swirling riffs and the thumping beat of drums make their move to sweep you away.
tundra. Bouncing back with that heavy rock and insane guitar riffs makes this one a hard one not to be a standout. This track is the perfect example of just far sleepmakeswaves has come and pushed them self’s to give us their 3rd record that could possibly be their best to date
the edge of everything. Giving us a much more majestic feel at the start before hitting the 2.30 mark that shows the guys throw us some insane guitar work and rifling drums. This track just keeps on giving packed with insane riffs and skills from the Sydney boys it’s no wonder they are making waves in their sleep, when they can put of tracks like this.
made of breath only, as you first hear this track your ears are filled with the sounds of a beautiful piano that will make the hairs on your arms stand up. Being one of the much shorter ones that finish on 3.09 its shear elegance is more than enough to just want this one repeat .
into the arms of ghost. The title name of this track was the first thing that grabbed at me, it wasn’t until I heard the track itself and I knew exactly why into the arms of ghost starts off softly. As we start to get more deeply into it we begin to hear those crunching drums beats and ballad’s from the guitars we just can’t get enough of.
midnight sun. This track needs to find its way to a video game or perhaps even in a movie there isn’t much more that needs to be said it just has that feel when you listen to it that it belongs in a fantasy world to be heard by everyone and everything.
glacial. This track sees us hear that heavier side to sleepmakeswaves. We have heard a few songs before packed with those heavy beats and guitars it falls just under 4 minutes sleepmakeswaves have brought everything they have and more with an album and it’s going to be one the fans talk about for years to come.
hailstones. Ending with a ballad that throws everything they have shown us in each track off this album, which makes it the perfect finish as you are filled with all kinds of emotions from guitars, bass and those crunching drums beats.
Post-rock trailblazers sleepmakeswaves have announced a massive start to 2017 with the news that their third album “Made of Breath only” will be released Friday March 24th through Bird’s Robe Records, followed by a headline tour of Australia during March and April.
Lauren had a great chat with Bassist Alex regarding what to expect and the inspiration behind the album.
(LC) G’day Alex it’s so great to speak to you thanks so much for taking the time to have a chat with today.
No worries man.
Your album is set for release in just a few weeks how has the response been so far about the news?
People are getting excited about hearing the full album. Was stoked when we premiered the first song “Tundra” and people were really into it. We’re hard on ourselves with songwriting and sometimes you need the fans to tell you a good job was done.
How long did you spend in the studio working on the album?
About two weeks. But before that it was a really solid year of writing and demoing songs. The studio recording is the easy part. Getting the riffs and arrangements right is where the real work happens.
Are you pleased with the final outcome?
Yeah, overall I am. The album has an atmosphere and feels more than just a collection of songs. But I’m a perfectionist and I’m never 100% happy with every minor detail. I think that’s normal for a lot of musos.
What kind of ‘sound’, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We wanted to keep the up tempo energy of our previous album Love of Cartography, but have a different emotion to it. We wanted the album to be darker, with fatter riffs. I think we got there in the end.
Your music is instrumental; can you describe what you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
I don’t really mind specifically what people feel. If listening to our music brings up a feeling, emotion or memory that matters for someone, I think we’ve done our job right.
Is there a track that you most look forward to the fans hearing?
There’s a track called “Midnight Sun” that I really like, and I think it will hit the spot for a lot of our fans.
You guys head out on tour again very soon where are you most looking forward to playing?
We’re doing our first shows for the album in China this March. Couldn’t be more excited. One of my favourite places in the world to be and play music. After that will be Australia in March, April & May, then hopefully lots more to come.
Your music sounds like it belongs in a Video game if you ever got asked to make music for a game what kind of game would you want it to be?
Maybe a game where the world is ending, but there’s still hope? I’m actually working on music for a video game on my own time. It’s called Retro Vision, it’s an 80s-themed mobile game with an old-school electronic soundtrack.
You guys have played in some amazing places and had some amazing experiences what is one of the stand -outs for you?
I really enjoyed doing a bus tour in America in 2016. It’s a diverse and fascinating country I’d wanted to explore for a while and doing it from the road was a tremendous experience. The people, the sights and the food are amazing.
Are there any cities that have just been filled with crowds that just fed you energy that are a big stand out for you?
Every place has a unique and special vibe, but I will say that Polish people have a real passion for instrumental rock and I always look forward to a show in Warsaw.
What is your favourite pedal or piece of equipment you like using the most?
I play a weird 5-string bass with a wonky fretboard called a Dingwall Combustion. It looks really cool and sounds amazing. It does exactly what I need and I love having it under my hands.
What have been the best experiences you have had since being in the band?
Getting to make records I’m proud of and are meaningful to people.