Review Summary: A rainbow wall of prettiness - like any piece of good art, it’ll capture you for that brief, but striking moment.
It’s hard to remember the last time I’ve been so thoroughly teased by any one band, ever.
Everything, of course seems to be in the right place. From the namewithnospaces to the astoundingly pretty cover art, and even the grand song titles that hint at the epicness
within. It’s like the band are simply crying out to let you know that ‘we’re so pretttyyy!’ even before having to listen to the album. What you will
get on In Today Walks Tomorrow
is a rainbow wall of musical elements, with subtle hints of grandiosity, dashes of climactic ambient excursions and even a small measure of heavy riffage thrown in just for kicks. It’s not a wall that bristles with breathtaking originality, but like any piece of good art, it’ll capture you for that brief, but striking moment.
Interestingly, sleepmakeswaves are at their peak when they simply sit down, strap in and fire on all pistons, rather than wander about melodically like many of their peers. Opener “I Will Write Peace On Your Wings…” lets loose with a bombastic rock out before easing into a gentle crescendo, whose apex lies, among other things, among a flurry of double bass. “One Day You Will Teach Me…” simply soars too, with Tim Charles’ bright violin contribution channeling the essence of Yndi Halda’s uplifting spirit, taking the song an angel’s halo above the rest of the album. It’s almost possible to feel
the rest of the band feeding of the energy of the song, playing their hearts out as if trying vigorously to give life to Charles’ delicate string arrangements.
And while it’s not altogether obvious, what makes sleepmakeswaves shoot beyond a simple patchwork band is the quartet’s absolute love for rhythm. While the percussion doesn’t always stand out among the spiraling guitars, the fact remains that it’s presence is always simply there
, bouncing and crawling in and amongst twirling melodies – Sometimes providing the hinge from which some of the songs here swing themselves off, like the gentle pitter patter of beats on “It’s Dark, It’s Cold, It’s Winter” and at others sitting smack bang in the middle of the songwriting, driving the already sprawling “I Will Write Peace On Your Wings…”. The basswork here also sits prominently in front of the music – again, while this isn’t the place for complexity or technicality, its sharp, distinctive rumbling gives In Today
a spice of rhythmic flavor that makes the record that
much more delicious.
Which brings us to the biggest gripe here: the production – in sticking with the worn sound which tries to warmly blend in the different elements of the sleepmakeswaves to make that usual sweeping ‘all-encompassing’ sound that usually informs post-rock, a lot of the individuality of the instruments is simply lost, swept in amongst everything else, which is a shame considering the obvious talent of each of the band members. So too, it’s when the band simply sit back, relax and let many of the usual post-rock cliché’s sweep over them that the record lets itself down a tad. “Exits To Nowhere” and “What We Cannot Speak Of…” takes out from bands like Caspian
, with their wide open scoundscapes sometimes losing themselves amongst their own grandiosity. That said, the sheer amount of tinkering and fidgeting that goes on as the band jumps effortlessly from one musical idea to another does cover up the occasional songwriting slip here and there.
In Today Walks Tomorrow
lives up then, to all its pretty surroundings, placing it right in the middle of the post-rock’s already wide spectrum. With a vibrancy that’s delicate and heartwarming, it just might give all you’ll need from it without asking for too much.