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Album Reviews : sleepmakeswaves/Tangled Thoughts of Leaving – Split EP

By on August 22, 2009

01ba03362faed3e0a094136a8e6fa904After quickly establishing themselves on the Australian music scene with their epic post rock/metal inspired EP titled ‘In Today Already Walks Tomorrow’, Sydney’s sleepmakeswaves are back again with a split EP with forward thinking Perth jazz metal fusionist’s Tangled Thoughts of Leaving.

sleepmakeswaves.

Offering three tracks to the split, sleepmakeswaves have stripped back their sound and increased their focus on simple melodies and subtleties in the music. Where ‘in today already walks tomorrow’ had the power of Explosion’s in the Sky, this split showcases more emotive detail as seen in bands such as Sigur Ros and The Album Leaf.

The big improvement in my eyes from the debut release to this split is a fuller song writing approach. Where the band’s first songs had brilliant passages, they also nearly always had slower, almost industrial, segments that counteracted the beauty of the music; immature from a song writing perspective. However all three songs on this record are more rounded narratives of the bands state of mind.

Perhaps the special ingredient to sleepmakeswaves’ music is the fact that there are no vocals. It forces you to take your own meaning from the songs. The band is like sitting back with a glass of red wine, reflecting on your life. It has body, notable characters and flavours of its own, and delves deep into your soul to evoke emotions previously felt.

Tangled Thoughts of Leaving.

‘Tiny Fragments’, the previous EP from Perth’s Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, was as challenging as it was intriguing. Frenetic jazz piano, growls, and the occasional heavy riffing made for a surprisingly enjoyable listen, once you got past the initial bizarreness. Here, we see the band toning all of that down, for the best.

It’s not that shocking that Tangled Thoughts of Leaving have delved further into the world of post-rock here. It really makes perfect sense considering who they’re sharing the split with. The changes in question are, I suppose, standard post-rock ones. Vocals are gone entirely, the focus is on atmosphere and climactic moments, and the song length is reasonably large. But, at no stage do the band lose any signature sound or originality. There are still improvised piano pieces and sections of music that will truly make your ears think. It’s just better-rounded and sounds more complete, in a similar sense to sleepmakeswaves’ half.

The short but sweet “A Vexing Predicament” (a track made up of bits and pieces from demo tapes and jam sessions), while being fantastic on its own, is really preparation for the 15 minute epic that follows. Ok, so 15 minutes isn’t exactly ‘epic’ when it comes to this area of the musical spectrum, but it’s more the actual music itself rather than song length that makes “The World is a Deaf Machine” so huge. It’s a journey through genres; combining jazz piano and drums with post-rock theatrics, clean guitars that are hard to classify, an assortment of atmospheric backings and a serious burst of balls at the climax. They really have created a sound of their own.

While some people may miss the absurdity and action of their previous EP, this exploration into other musical areas shows a much more mature side of the band. It builds, it flows, it soars, and all without losing their interesting improv roots. This is a grand split. 8/10

Bands: sleepmakeswaves & Tangled Thoughts of Leaving
Album: untitled split EP
Year: 2009
Genre: post-rock/progressive
Label: Self Released
Origin: Sydney/Perth, Australia
myspace.com/sleepmakeswaves
myspace.com/ttol

sleepmakeswaves reviewed by Brendan Amos (SMiM)
Tangled Thoughts of Leaving reviewed by Mitch Booth (Mean Machine)

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.