…And So We Destroyed Everything
|Label:||Bird's Robe Records|
In stark contrast to the sun kissed shores they hail from (Sydney, Australia) sleepmakeswaves seem to have used the frosty imagery of the Arctic Tundra to draw inspiration for their second effort …And So We Destroyed Everything.
Serving as their opening manifesto is “to you they are birds, to me they are voices of the forest” (quite a mouthful, but song titles the length of short poems are one of the band’s charming idiosyncrasies). A short introduction of hushed synth lulls the listener into a false sense of security, before an exhilarating array of guitars greet you with a gale force impact. It’s very much a game of two halved: Melodically supercharged hooks are stuffed into every nook and cranny in the first half of the track, and they make short work of wheedling their way into your consciousness. A sense of unbridled jubilance takes us to the halfway mark, where the atmosphere takes on a distinctive sense of heart rendering melancholy; frostier, more driven, and more introspective, but no less staggering. Even the most ardent fan of instrumental rock will be hard pressed to find an album opener as immediate and arresting.
The album is very much a mixed bag of tracks both lengthy and succinct. While offering the listener some breathing space in between the weightier tracks, the inconsistency of song lengths proves to be a drawback for the album. When stacked up against the sprawling epics that clock in at around the 10-12 minute mark, the shorter pieces serve as mere intermissions; though pleasant, they remain infuriatingly unfulfilled.
Take ‘Our Time Is Short…’ as a prime example; glitchy electronics bolstered by an undercurrent of slowly swelling guitars and a delicate marbling of piano and glockenspiel, it more than merits it’s place on the record, but leaves you wanting so much more.
The closing title track is truly the album’s crowning glory. Mournful piano gingerly eases us into the 12-minute epic, before encountering a hair-raising fortissimo. A dramatic urgency looms over much of the track: Blizzards of slicing guitars, crashing cymbals, interspersed with synth refrains, before leading to a sombre chorale and reflective hook that gradually brings the album to a grounded and level-headed close. In many respects, it could pass for a blow by blow aural account of the final battle between you and your arch nemesis, and the weary aftermath as you walk away, bloodied, bruised, and triumphant.
Despite its minor shortcomings, ‘…And So We Destroyed Everything’ displays plenty to sing about. Demonstrating an alarmingly astute sense of melody, the hooks metaphorically skewer themselves into your sense and it’s hard to shake them out. With the minimalist, gradual tendencies reduced to a minimum, the band often goes straight for the jugular, with crescendos arriving in lightning speed, and the quieter moments showing a keen complexity to keep you reigned in until the closing moments. Though an album based on chilling soundscapes, there lies a glowing heart that shines through its icy exterior.
Posted: Fri 11 November 2011