Review – Sleepmakeswaves  The Gov, Adelaide Apr13

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Review – Sleepmakeswaves The Gov, Adelaide

Live Review – Sleepmakeswaves @ The Gov, Adelaide

Review – Craig Grant

Big night in Adelaide with a top threesome on the bill. First up is The Unset who are that elusive and exotic breed of experimental prog. Shouty vocals, a wall of hum and difficulty in guessing when a song started and stopped is a sure sign that this is the ‘make it up as you go along variant’ but the Unset had a feeling of being…well….unset. All very loose, with some great moments, but very patchy though the crowd did warm to the band as there was a feeling that anything could happen. They pulled strong applause as the set went on but they were entranced by maintaining the hum and more time was spent adjusting the guitar pedal settings than interacting with the audience. Mild surprise when the lead guitarist had bent over to garner more feedback while behind him the drummer was packing up the kit and the bass was leaving the stage. Still he evoked more feedback until the mixing desk cut the vocal and started to play some interim music while the lead worked out that it was over, and with a raised arm, he was gone.

Next up was the mighty Caligula’s Horse with their exquisite sounds from the 2015 ‘Bloom’ album and they were all the ball from the start. Marigold is awesome live and the band seem to meld it into something new each time it is played. We had a fresh song in the, Cannon’s Mouth, and it was an instant crowd favourite. This band have such passion in their songs that it is infectious and these tracks take on a new life when played live. This is obviously the first time that we had heard this one but it fitted into the set and sounded like the band had been touring it for years. The set finished with, Daughter of the Mountain which always reminds me of the Sword for some reason but it is both upbeat and sinister at the same time. Great performance from a band that are always growing and a setlist that is never afraid to take a chance. Worthy to note was the introduction of a new guitarist with Zac Greensill leaving to pursue other projects to be replaced by Adrian Goleby. Adrian looks like a young Mustaine and has probably the second best hair in Australian ‘metal’ with the primary being Myles Flood of Taberah. Great guitar performance on the night with the guitar of Sam Vallen still as clean and impeccable as ever. This band is a joy to watch.

So on trot Sleepmakeswaves, touring Australia with the new album, Made of Breath Only which had entered the album charts and selling well. One thing that you immediately realise is that the digital recording of the album does not do the band any favours. The live sound is so thick and layered that it takes the songs to a fresh dimension. If there was ever and album to get on vinyl then this is probably the one. What you notice about Sleepmakeswaves is that they are completely absorbed by their music and its four distinct performances from each member that comes together in tight unison. To you they are Birds…(etc) kicks off the night and it’s a great track to start off any setlist. This is a band that have literally become mainstream from the underground and pulled their way into the mass market, but the sound is still gritty and challenging.

As the night progresses there are gems such as the single Tundra and Glacial that have been taken from the album and given a whole new lease of life on the road. These are the album tracks on steroids and one listen is not enough and again I’m pointing the finger at digital sales just not giving the depth in sound quality that is being delivered here. Emergent from Cartography sounds completely different from the 2014 album with more layers than I can recall. It’s a sumptuous track and it’s followed by another two from the same album, being Northern and Avalanches to close out the night.

The risk with Sleepmakeswaves is that one album may sound like the next and the next and so on. Seeing this live, it’s a different matter as the performance and the sound quality brings the songs to life in completely different ways. On this performance Sleepmakeswaves are leading the prog pack at the moment and deserve their support spot with Devin Townsend across Australia and New Zealand. Great performance from everyone tonight.

Live Review € Sleepmakeswaves @ The Gov, Adelaide

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