[ALBUM REVIEW] sleepmakeswaves // Made of Breath Only

Made of Breath Only
Bird’s Robe Records

Although somewhat of a smaller scene than that of neighbouring countries, Australian post-rock has provided some of the most intriguing and inventive music of the genre within the last few years. At the head of the pack is sleepmakeswaves, who have brought the genre’s winding, crashing dynamics to an entirely new audience and scored the kind of radio airplay and chart success that most bands couldn’t even dream of – far more conventional and straightforward bands, for that matter. After taking their smartly-arranged and futuristic music across the entire globe twice over, the band return with Made of Breath Only, their third studio album and one that poses a very clear and present threat to be their absolute best.

A warning: Breath is not even close to being as inherently accessible and user-friendly as its predecessor, 2014’s breakthrough Love of Cartography. Not to slight that record in the slightest, but the band have moved past its more conventional aspects and primarily engaged in darker tonal shifts and a more forthright, aggressive demeanour. Drummer Tim Adderley is firing off on all cylinders, charging through each song’s arrangement with Bonham-sized fills and thunderous snare hits. His unstoppable force is matched by the immovable objects of guitarists Otto Wicks-Green and new guy Daniel Oreskovic; whose downtuned riffage is often complemented by one of the two shrieking their way up to the other end of the fretboard and raising the stakes exponentially.

Made of Breath Only is a challenging, dense work that sees the band explore some of their darkest undercurrents to date. Strangely enough, it’s this very fact that makes it such an enthralling listen. A confirmed hat trick, sleepmakeswaves continue to impress on far greater levels than anyone could have originally comprehended.

– David James Young