Rosemount Hotel, Perth WA
August 5th, 2016
Support – The Contortionist & Tangled Thoughts of Leaving
Post-rock fans rejoice, the event of a lifetime is upon you. Kicking off their ‘Traced in Constellations’ Australian tour in Perth were Sydney-siders Sleepmakeswaves. Joining the headliners was what made the gig all that more interesting; no other than The Contortionist, hailing all the way from Indianapolis, USA and locals Tangled Thoughts of Leaving.
The latter were up first, with proud hometown patrons present, Tangled Thoughts of Leaving delivering some of their instrumental perfection to the quickly growing crowd. With several rhythmic layers steering their set, the band balanced an ambient atmosphere that retained a beautifully heavy composition. As a metal enthusiast, I am always eager for a vocalist to compliment a sound like this, but was reminded by punters nearby that it would have ruined the fundamental experience of instrumental post-rock; a learning curve for myself. The keyboardist was so involved that he seemed exorcised by his keys, a very captivating sight that enhanced the experience. Punters praised the stage-openers, particularly when the drawn-out section finally reached crescendo and the musicians went passionately berserk.
Next up were progressive metal fanatics The Contortionist, who have played once in Perth before in the last couple of years with Between the Buried and Me. The band graced the stage with such humility and attentiveness to the excitable audience, which had expanded again quite significantly. The American outfit got started with a series of ambient tracks from their sophomore release Language. Initially strangers to the band may have seeped into a rhythmic comfort of the band’s series of relaxing overlays, until the game changed. Yes, The Contortionist are in fact a metal band, and as part of that wondrous umbrella, their crescendos were carried out by vocalist Michael Lessard’s beastly roar. The front man was completely engaged in the musical contours that he would close his eyes and allow his body to physically shift in unison to the chords. The heavier moments came from the few tracks played from their debut record Exoplanet which certainly endured the fitting cathartic head-banging. The Contortionist’s gorgeous bipolar epicentre of Lessard’s contrasting roars to his ever-so-gentle cleans plus the band’s multi-layered structure transcended the audience into a foreign yet comforting dimension.
Finally, the headliners were scheduled to rock the socks off the already-climaxing crowd. After a few technical difficulties, Sleepmakeswaves burst onto the stage, crawling with excitement. Guitarist Otto Wicks-Green smiled to the monstrous crowd at the Rosie and thanked Perth – “it’s truly a pleasure” – he said. The band played a healthy mix of their back catalogue throughout the evening, including tracks from their latest album Love of Cartography. Unlike The Contortionist, and to an extent Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, Sleepmakeswaves leeched off the fans’ positive energy and responded with an incrementally harder and faster instrumental performance. Through the ultra-complex and multi-layered structures, the seasoned musicians proved why they’re the front-runners of the evening. Guitarist Alex Wilson engaged with the crowd between songs and thanked fans for their coming down as well as for their dedicated support to the band. The crowd were becoming hypnotised by the orgasmic drones that tore between sections; and people were drifting like super-flailing-inflatable-arm-tube-men – in sheer utter contentment. All-in-all the evening was a triumphant success, setting up the rest of the tour to be an absolute ripper; bravo.
– Ricky Aarons (rickysaul90)
to you they are birds, to me they are voices in the forest
The Stars Are Stigmata
we sing the body electric
keep your splendid silent sun
…and so we destroyed everything
Traced in Constellations
Something Like Avalanches
Check out the full photo gallery below – click on the images to make larger.
Photos courtesy of Emanuel Rudnicki
Please do not use without permission. (Bands are free to share)
Tangled Thoughts of Leaving