I’ve been waiting a long time for a band like Sleep Talk to come around. A heavy band who are able to hop from one extreme of their genre to the other without it seeming contrived is a rare thing.
With the release of their debut album Everything In Colour, the signs are promising that the Adelaide quintet might just be up to the task.
On the album’s opening track, ‘Lauritzen’, we are presented with a microcosm of the entire record. At times it is welcoming and slightly lethargic, like Basement but with more anger. At others, there are expansive, epic riffs. And finally, we get some extremely intense vocals and instrumental sections which burn with fury.
As the album progresses, Sleep Talk continue to throw in examples of their ability to switch from one style to another without batting an eyelid. The Sun showcases a pacey, lighthearted first verse, and soaring triplet heavy sections in a combination that is slightly unnerving but exciting.
On the record’s title track, ‘Everything In Colour’, there is more of a Pulled Apart By Horses meets Mastodon vibe. That’s not a bad combo if you ask me. The staccato riffs work well with the punchy drums, resulting in a song that while heavy, is actually pretty catchy.
‘If I Die’ is a whole other kettle of fish. The intensity starts at ten and doesn’t really come down. The volume drops, but the conviction of the vocal delivery is just as captivating. This is the kind of track I always look out for on metal albums: many bands attempt it, but few pull it off as well as Sleep Talk. It demonstrates that they aren’t all about being loud and in your face: there is reason and artistry to their choices. Quiet sections serve to give the loud more impact, to give them reason to exist even.
Around the time of ‘Shadow’ you probably feel like you need a little respite from this intense album. Thankfully, the band agree. So just breathe, get your bearings, maybe take on some water, and prepare yourself for what is to come. Because I’ll tell you now, ‘Shadow’ is followed by a unrelenting, early Architects style track in the form of ‘Allergic To The World’. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Everything In Colour comes to a close with the epic ‘Kill’, a song split in two halves. The first half is similar to much of what we’ve heard already, but the second gets very interesting. There’s a nice coming together of the screamed lead vocals, melodic backing vocals and soaring instrumentation. The tempo change three minutes is another clever trick the band throw in at the last minute, as if they haven’t already done enough to show off their musicianship.
As debuts go, this is a very respectable effort from Sleep Talk. They’ve managed to control and channel their heavy instincts into a collection of songs which is frenetic but precise, giving direction and purpose to the fury they unleash. So are they the band I’ve been waiting for? If they can sustain this form going forward, then I see no reason why not.
Sounds Like… a band breaking free of their genre’s boundaries.