sleepmakeswaves: “It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It” Album Review

Sleepmakeswaves

That’s right, sleepmakeswaves, the Australian post-rock band from the Myspace Era is not only still going strong, but also evolving.


sleepmakeswaves: Back Again…

The post-rock outfit sleepmakeswaves has been around since 2006, making some very interesting soundscapes. I have always had a soft spot for instrumental music, being a performer myself.

But the thing about instrumental music is it can easily go over your head if you are not a musician. This is especially true for guitar-centric rock music without a lot of lyrics.

Bands like Pelican and sleepmakeswaves transcend that stigma, however. The casual listener needs not to fear, you will not find any 10-minute guitar solos here. No bravado or showing off, just pure energy.

The song structure and melody are what is important to sleepmakeswaves. This is high-energy post-rock, and it definitely gets heavy, but this album never looses the melody.

This provides a soundscape that is almost visual. These are more compositions than just songs, and each track offers something new and interesting.

If you have followed the band over the years then you know the influence they have had on modern music. Everything from noise rock to progressive metal has taken a nod from these post-rock giants.

But the sound has evolved, the melodies are more sweeping and emotional, and this is going to be an amazing live show when the band tours.

I think It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It is a great introduction to the band, but fans will also be surprised at some of the turns these sonic landscapes provide the listener.

I personally became a fan after getting into Pelican, and I have casually followed the band for years. Without giving too much away for the end of this article, this might be my favorite album of theirs.

So how did sleepmakeswaves get here? Today we are going to look at the new album It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It and talk about our favorite tracks at the end.


sleepmakeswaves: Almost 20 Years Strong

sleepmakeswaves

sleepmakeswaves is:

  • Alex Wilson – bass, keys, electronics
  • Otto Wicks-Green – guitar, vocals
  • Tim Adderley – drums, electronics

The mysterious phase of nothingness, crucial to the smw creative process, is over: our new album is finally done. Thank you so much to all our listeners for your patience. It has been a slow but intense labor of love and we are proud of the songs on this record, and grateful for the many people who helped bring it to life. Hope to see you on the road in 2024, more show announcements to come, and we truly hope the new music we’re about to release resonates with you in the same way it does with us. 


sleepmakeswaves-2024

Formed via an ad on Myspace (remember those days?), the band’s story started online and they continue to benefit from fans sharing their music on the internet.

The band started in 2006 and made headway in the burgeoning post-rock scene with other bands that were pushing the limits of experimental heaviness. One Myspace post, and a few years later the band was opening for Pelican!

From their debut unexpectedly clocking up 50,000 downloads online, to hitting 200,000 views as the soundtrack to a romantic “Twilight” movie fan video, or as the thumping opening theme for the AFL football season coverage on Channel 7, sleepmakeswaves’ music has always taken a life of its own amongst fans online.

Through lineup changes, an ever-more-difficult economic climate for independent niche artists, theft of money and equipment, computers crashing, lost baggage, injuries, illness, operations, failed relationships, fire alarms, red tape, and more, this band has maintained the passion and enthusiasm to continue creating.

The trend of pandemic albums is almost an inside joke with musicians these days, but that is exactly how this album came to be. This is a heavy album, both in sound and impact, that captures the “feel” of the last few years.

Right before the world shut down for a while, sleepmakeswaves was on tour with Underoath and Devin Townsend. But then…everything stopped.

sleepmakeswaves’ new album, It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It, was produced by the band themselves, at Golden Retriever Studios in Sydney, Australia.

Written during the pandemic, it was originally recorded in 2022 just before the band embarked on a three-month tour for their previous EP trilogy, these are not your dreams. Further recording was completed in 2023, including string arrangements by Simeon Bartholomew (SEIMS). 

The record was then mixed by Andrei Eremin (Closure in Moscow, Tash Sultana, G Flip, Luca Brasi) in Philadelphia and mastered by Jeff Lipton and Maria Rice at Peerless Mastering in Boston.

The pandemic might have caused a lot of issues for touring musicians, but it also seemed to inspire a great number of artists. This album might be the most fleshed-out sleepmakeswaves album yet.

The first single ,”Super Realm Park,” prefiguring the record as a whole, is a majestic return to the classic hallmarks of the band’s melodic post-rock sound, whilst introducing new production and arrangement elements.

Fans of the band’s heavy bombastic aggression will resonate with tracks such as “All Hail Skull” and “Ritual Control.” They also shine with invigorated melodic and emotive performances and arrangements on tracks like “Black Paradise” and “Terror Future.”

Retaining their signature approach to heavy dynamics and crescendos the band is still at their unmatched peak when they turn their hand to cataclysmic emotional epics such as the title track and the album closer “This Close Forever.”

While this album is mostly instrumental, there are some vocals here and there by Otto, which is a delight to hear! The vocals may be sparse, but the impact is huge when they show up.

All together sleepmakeswaves continues to innovate and be at the top of their game with this album. They have inspired many bands along the way, and the journey is far from over.


Review & Standout Tracks

sleepmakeswaves

The first thing that stuck out to me as a producer was the overall sound of this album. Every track tends to blend into the next, without any real changes in atmosphere.

The drums on this album are crushing, with a ton of room sound and reverb. The drums are unique and each snare hit rings out in an epic fashion that I have not heard since the Flaming Lips album The Soft Bulletin.

On top of the huge drums, the bass is snappy and often fuzzed out. It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It takes no prisoners with the heaviness and layers of sound. This is a huge accomplishment, since the album is self-produced.

The guitars and synths are often swirling together in a way that makes this album a true experience with a good pair of headphones or stereo speakers. Even the subtle moments with piano and strings sound full and rich.

You would think I am talking about a metal album, and while there are some elements of metal, sleepmakeswaves remains mostly uplifting in their approach. These tracks are beautiful, and cinematic in nature.

One of the standout tracks for me is “Black Paradise”. The song starts out with a quiet acoustic guitar, and turns into a dramatic, sweeping epic that features orchestra strings.

The title track, “It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It” is a masterclass on how to properly build up anticipation. It may start gently, but before the 8 minutes is over it becomes washed in colorful sound.

To me, this is sleepmakeswaves at their best, building a song up for several minutes before the crescendo finally hits you, and leaves you wanting more as the piano outro carries you to the final track of the album.

I would have put the title track at the end of the album, to close everything out. But that is literally my only gripe with this album, and I am sure there is a reason the band did not want to end on that note.

It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It flows in such a gorgeous manner that I really cannot fault it at all. This is one of the most pleasing albums I have heard this year, so far.

It offers something for everyone, no matter what kind of music fan you may be. Sure, there are heavy distorted guitars, but sleepmakeswaves knows when to hold back as well.

The two singles that have been released give you a taste of the production style and feel of the album. So if you have heard them, there is so much more to come.

There are epic orchestral moments, screaming guitars swathed in delay, and moments of melancholy brought back to the surface with hopeful progressions. There are even some shoegaze moments here and there, with dense delay taking up both sides of the stereo field.

This is an album that could only be made well into your career as a band. The experience and finesse are right at the forefront of this album, the trio know exactly what they are doing, with surgical precision.


Wrapping Up…

It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It has been on repeat for me for the last few days since I got it to review and check out. There is a lot to digest with this one, and as a producer it really intrigues me.

I generally don’t gush too much with these new music reviews, but this album has inspired my own projects. The sheer density is very impressive.

That being said, I think the casual listener will have their imagination running wild while experiencing all that sleepmakeswaves has to offer with It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It.

There are a few tour dates announced already, and these shows should be crazy with the new material! You can check out the tour dates HERE where the band is touring with Elephant Gym, Meniscus, and several other acts.

While there have been lineup changes, label changes, and pandemic woes for sleepmakeswaves, the band is in rare form on this album. Whether you are a long-time fan, or just getting into the band, It’s Here, But I Have No Names For It has something for everyone.


Release Date & Pre-Orders

sleepmakeswaves

You can get a pre-order vinyl from HERE. The album ships in mid-April. If you follow that same link, you will find different versions of the album on compact disc, as well as some really cool t-shirts. I would love to have a shirt myself!


For Fans Of:

  • Russian Circles
  • MONO
  • Boris
  • Karnivool
  • Pelican
  • Palms
  • Isis
  • 65daysofstatic
  • Devin Townsend

Absolute Beginner? No problem.

Learn how to 10x your guitar playing, use all the latest gear, and record like a professional – all from the comfort of your bedroom!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest