All right, it's time for me to flash my hipster / indie cred. I was totally into sleepmakeswaves while they were still a small band on the Lost Children net label! BEAT THAT.
*ahem* In all seriousness, these guys have been on my radar for a long while now. They've already released two EPs (one of which is album length), one split album, and one single, all of which are still available for free download. Actually, you know what, go download those first. Right now. This review will still be here when you get back.
Have you listened to them? Good. Then you'll have heard exactly why a full-length album from these guys has been long overdue. ...And So We Destroyed Everything is exactly that album, I'm quite happy to report that it does not disappoint. In fact, this album combines the best traits of all the big names in post-rock. Sleepmakeswaves' music can be as epic and soaring as Explosions in the Sky, as dense and cathartic as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and even as quirky as a Mogwai record. It's hard not to love an album that caters to so many of your musical niches at once.
And you can tell immediately from the crashing chords of the opener “To You They Are Birds, To Me They Are Voices In The Forest” that these folks know exactly how to stroke that musical sweet-spot. The guest violin performance absolutely makes this track, perfectly creating that elating feeling that can bring one to tears. “A Gaze Blank And Pitiless As The Sun” is another extremely strong piece, and has some absolutely excellent drum work: fast, furious, and relentless. The closing buildup is also amongst my favourite on the album—the guest trumpet work gives the piece this almost heavenly quality that really makes it wonderful to hear. My favourite moment, however, has to be the six-minute buildup in the middle of the album on “A Gaze Blank And Pitiless As The Sun.”
...One thing these folks may not be as good at are concise song titles.
The shorter pieces are every bit as good as the longer ones, adding a bit of diversity to the standard formula the longer tracks tend to follow. The lead single “(Hello) Cloud Mountain” is a song you'll probably have stuck in your head for a while, especially once you hear the soaring guitar lines towards the end. “Our Time is Short but Your Watch is Slow” is a softer, floaty piece, and “In Limbs and Joints” has some of the album's heaviest guitar work.
The album does tend to get a bit weaker towards the end, but it isn't seriously detrimental to the whole experience. “...And So We Destroyed Everything” doesn't quite live up to its potential as the closer and longest song on the album, and “We Like You When You're Awkward” seems like an unnecessary digression at best. In addition, I'm not a huge fan of the sound of the electronic drum work, seeing as it feels jarringly out of place with the rest of the album. However, that's quite a small point, seeing as it only pops up a handful of times.
All things considered, this is really quite a solid album. It's the kind of music I wish I could hear more often; enjoyable, inspired, and intensely rewarding. Any fan of post-rock must own this album.
8.0 / 10
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