The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
CD SLEEP PARADE InsideOut review







Sleep Parade has a certain something, it’s not Hard Rock, it’s not particularly easy to put a finger on, but it is interesting. But on Inside/Out be warned they have almost completely ditched the very ‘Prog’ guitar-based  hard-rock of their debut ‘Things Can Always Change’. It’s not like adjusting their wardrobe though, the shift is that dramatic it almost feels like cross-dressing.  If you want to get basic about ‘Inside/Out’ imagine an Australian Coldplay-lite, a Muse without huge guitars, a U2 without the hooks or the heart-on-sleeve passion, or a Karnivool with more Birds. It is a seemingly soft curve into Indie-dom…



One thing is for sure though, the Indie Media will love this because in 2013 that’s the nature of Australian Music – love what you don’t understand or what sounds intellectual or awkward because of the overwhelming fear that someone may just find out how afraid you are to actually get back to enjoying music. I’ve seen a lot of alt-rock bands over the last few years where the audience has happily chatted to themselves as the band played, at least those people were ‘seen’ to be there. Indie Rock is like fashion to twenty-somethings like me today and the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ are the most stylish of all garments.



Things here are a little different though, aside from feeling slightly cynical about the quantum shift there is something real about the music here. Sleep Parade could just be the latest real band out there to be embraced by the mainstream, the cool-kids, the shoe-gazers and well, just people who like fine music.



Take the first three tracks ‘Devil’s Door’; ‘Dancing With the Enemy’ and ‘Collision’ and you have a really erudite and interesting band. But later the waters get murkier (or perhaps it would be better to say calmer and disappointingly clearer). On Inside/Out the lifeblood is the bass and it saves many of the later songs from sinking into soft-Indie-pop sameness. ‘Oxygen’ tries too hard to be subtle and succeeds too well, but ‘Footsteps’ in context is rather cool, in isolation less so. ‘Mirrors’ is perhaps the sparse wavering highlight. ‘The River’ is actually quite dry and certainly not a torrent while ‘Open your Eyes’ is a study in what the River lacked, much more crunchy the way we like it, almost reminiscent of ‘Live’.



At the very least this is an interesting album, at best it’s different, at worst it seems to be heading in the same direction as the rest of Australian Indie-rock/pop. It is our hope that Sleep Parade realise how close they are to what could possibly be a disaster. It’s great to be liked, wonderful to be cool, but when you produce an album that questions your original convictions it’s harder to convince the world you are not just looking for an easy ride.



Innocent until proven guilty…




Leslii Phillips