3 Short Random Reviews – Part 2: sleepmakeswaves – And So We Destroyed Everything

Part Two of ‘3SRR’: The new 2011 album ‘…And So We Destroyed Everything’ by australian instrumental rock band ‘sleepmakeswaves’.

…And So We Destroyed Everything is the band’s debut LP and sounds really promising. The band combines post-rock guitar melodies with ambient and electronic soundscapes and is also able to create something new with it. They also integrate a few heavier parts in their songs to make it sound more active and straightforward. This was especially well achieved in the tracks 2 and 6. The electronic and more atmospheric parts were also pretty good, e.g. in track 3.  What I also found pretty interesting and memorable were the “vocals” at the end of the last track, they fitted pretty well in there.

The longer songs such as the opener or track 4 seemed a bit too long and excessive to me because it was like that slow crescendo build-up scheme known from many post-rock bands. But hey, maybe I’ll enjoy them more after re-visiting this album who knows. The last track (also being a longer song) differs from that though. It is a really distinctive (especially because of the aforementioned vocal-part) and dynamic closing song.

Overall, I loved the mix of the different influences (especially the electronic component) making the album an interesting and diverse atmospheric journey and I’m looking forward to getting deeper into their stuff. Very good for a debut LP.

Favourite Song(s): In Limbs And Joints, Our Time Is Short But Your Watch Is Slow

Least Favourite Song(s): To You They Are Birds, To Me They Are Voices In The Forest

Overall rating 7/10 (first impression)

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Battles – Gloss Drop Review

“Ok…Wait, what exactly is this thing? And why is it being recommended to me all the time?”

That was about the first thought that came to my mind after watching the Ice Cream video on YouTube for the first time.

Initially, I didn’t take this band seriously. I thought the music was weird, but still a bit attracting and impressive. I didn’t bother getting into it for another few weeks, though. After these first impressions and after falling in love with their sound, in retrospect I guess those first impressions are pretty normal considering that the band hugely differs from the usual image you would have of a band or music in general. After revisiting the Ice Cream video again and again, I slowly realized I started liking the sound of the song although I didn’t quite take it seriously as a musical piece in the first place. This led me to the decision of buying the album which I did in a local record store (I was surprised they had it).

Let’s get to the review. The album consists of 12 songs running a total time of nearly 54 minutes. Of course the band history is quite relevant considering they’ve turned into a three-piece after losing the very talented Tyondai Braxton, but I decided not letting this background information influence my view on this album (also I didn’t know anything about this background info before listening to Gloss Drop for the first time anyway)

I instantly enjoyed the opener Africastle after the one minute intro within the song. I immediately loved the drumming and those strange sounds I could’nt quite identify. Nor could I tell how they were even created, but what I did know is that I love them. I also love this dark and heavy part at the end which is then interupted by those quirky, almost ridiculously happy and childish sounds leading towards the general mood of….

….Ice Cream, the next song on the album. Since I’ve already talked about this song, I only want to add that it has grown on me (which I never supposed would happen). It just makes one want to move to it, jump around, smile and maybe as the title suggests eat some Ice Cream to it. I also enjoy Aguayo’s gibberish/spanish fusion now which I honestly found rather stupid during my first listen.

The next three songs Futura, Inchworm and Wall Street (the latter in particular) are without a doubt my favourite tracks from the album and also among my overall favourite tracks of 2011. They are a truly beautiful experimental intricate (further random adjectives that stuck in my head but which I cannot put into words) experience which also makes you want to move, jump around, burn your carpet, drink coconut juice out of a dice cup and all that kind of stuff. How do they come up with that??? The moments I especially enjoy on these tracks are the un-expected breaks, the abrupt endings, the slow build-up in Futura, the totally mad and straightforward beginning of Wall Street and many more.

Track 6, My Machines features Gary Numan and thus has vocals in it again (after 3 fantastic instrumental pieces). Numan’s vocals perfectly add up to the still very interesting and experimental sounds of the band. Great song.

Now I’ve listened half way through and I’m completely blown away and think this is going to turn out as a 10/10 masterpiece right?

As for the following second half of the album the answer sadly is no. I enjoyed the second half nonetheless, but it didn’t leave me speech-or breath- or whatever-less, which the first half perfectly achieved. I didn’t really care for Toddler, Rolls Bayce. They seemed kind of  unnecessary to me. I did enjoy Dominican Fade and the closing track Sundome. And it isn’t like the second half ruins the album, it just doesn’t continue to amaze me on this very high level of the album’s beginning.

Overall, I really loved the hell out of this album and revisited a lot up to now. Due to the comparatively weak second half I realized that I revisited the first 7 tracks significantly more than 8-12 though.

This album still works pretty good as a whole and thus deserves an overall rating of 8/10 and leaves me pretty excited for their following stuff.

Favourite Song(s): Africastle, Futura, Inchworm, Wall Street, My Machines

Least Favourite Song(s): Toddler, Rolls Bayce

Overall Rating 8/10

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it..as much as..

the reviewing turtle eater.

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Vessels – Helioscope Review

Vessels. Well,  I got to know/see them in 2010 during their tour with Oceansize. Incredible live band. They played a few songs off Helioscope as well. The one I remembered best was ‘Monoform’ because during that wicked song Peter Wright crushed the keyboard down to the bottom, which was quite fun to see/hear etc.  The day after the show he also wrote about this ever-so memorable incident on the vessels homepage. As masters of the English Language those chaps most definitely could describe it loads better than I could with my miserable school English, so if you really want to read about this and maybe have a laugh,  check out their website.

So anyway, let’s get to my review (which I guess nobody is interested in..but, whatever)

I’m going to keep the comparisons to the band’s other releases to a minimum level since I want to regard Helioscope irrelatively and may review their other stuff too, sometime.

The Album consists of 9 songs and its total running time is 48:17, which first seemed to me a bit too short for this band’s standards (with their first LP containing 10 songs running a total time of 63 minutes)  but it is as it turns out more than enough. It is the band’s sophomore LP after a wonderful debut called ‘White Fields And Open Devices’ released back in 2008.

The Album is mostly instrumental, but has vocals on Recur, All Our Ends and Spun Infinite by the band members and the guest vocalist Stuart Warwick on ‘Meatman, Piano Tuner, Prostitute’

It starts off with Monoform which I already mentioned in the keyboard-destroying-context, you remember.  The song starts with some looped keyboard pattern followed by an excellent drum groove. This very promising intro introduces the listener to the sound the album would revolve around. The song continues that way slowly building up to a massive explosion at 5:20 which presumably caused that keyboard accident live. I especially enjoy the keyboards on this song and consider it a perfect opener to this album.

The second song, The Trap, is also a great live song, particularly because one of the band’s bassists/guitarists supports the drummer with rim clicks on his toms making the drums sound beautifully intricate. My favourite part of the song is the rhythmically freaked out part at the end. One very fine song.

Recur follows up The Trap directly after the short ‘recur drum intro’ at the end of The Trap. In this song the band shows first-class guitar and vocal work and I fell in love with it at first listen.  Amazing drum work towards the end, too.

To me, track 4, Later Than You Think, is one of the most experimental and innovative songs of the last years and also ended up being my favourite Helioscope song. This song begins with these strangely pleasuring sounds I’ve never heard in that way before – twirling around and speeding up until they finally get the shape of a rhythm. This beginning reminded me (and my father) of some sort of machine or engine slowly revving up and then running endlessly. I always love discovering sounds/music that my ears aren’t used to at all at first but then slowly grow to get used to and finally enjoy or even love them. Those are the kind of songs I end up loving most.

Of course Helioscope still has a few surprises and doesn’t stick to the sound you slowly got introduced to.

Meatman, Piano Tuner, Prostitute (which wins the award of the best song-title off the album) for instance begins as a quite calm and warmly glowing song with the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Stuart Warwick and thus enriches the album with beautiful dynamics and dreamy textures.

Then again, Art/Choke, track 6, pulls you out of that dreamy atmosphere that was set by Meatman as it smashes those heavy strokes forming a massive rhythm right in your face. It is also (except for The Trap I think) the only song to feature odd time signatures on this record, the most memorable of which are the alternating 7/8 and 4/4 bars around the last minute of the song.  Art/Choke’s great rhythms and its vast and heavy sound is what perfectly adds to Helioscope.

After the atmospheric interlude called Heal, the song All Our Ends (with a running time of nearly eight minutes the longest song on Helioscope) fades in with beautiful guitar melodies building up to the most emotional and massive moments on this record. Breathtaking.

Spun Infinite which kind of serves as an outro to the album features some really pleasing atmospheres with beautiful vocals and it somehow reminded me of Mogwai’s ‘Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep’. Although I’m not loving this song as much as the others, it is always a quite relaxing outro that shouldn’t be left out.

Overall, this album did not only live up to my expectations it devoured them and spit them out as something way better at the very first listen. I might as well say that in a few years I can still look back to this album and enjoy it more than ever.

Favourite Song(s): The Trap, Recur, Later Than You Think

Least Favourite Song(s): Spun Infinite

Overall Rating: 9/10

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it.

the reviewing turtle eater.

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Reviews coming up…

…soon

only albums from 2011 onward, I decided not to review old stuff since I don’t feel like doing it.

thereviewingturtleeater.

hello.

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Hello world!

It gave birth to me! Hurray, let’s celebrate by cheerfully throwing  papayas up in the air and all that.

btw, i’m max and you better get used to reading my fantastic reviews coming up soon.

Because if you don’t…well ask your milkman, he should know by now hahahaha.

 

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