Adelaide’s own melodic hardcore/alternative act Sleep Talk are here with their debut album, Everything In Colour. One of the latest signings to UNFD, Sleep Talk have toured this album around Australia, and are no doubt hoping to capitalize on this momentum to make sure Everything In Colour comes flying out of the gates.
The album itself is a vast and well-structured collection of songs. They flow fluently through each other and maintain a consistent sound throughout. Opening with “Lauritzen”, the tone is set immediately. Moody melodic instrumentals contrast perfectly with the brutal scraping scream vocals, and as they are joined by the backing clean vocals they form an enormously emotionally gripping sound.
“The Sun” continues this sound but turns it down a bit. Softening the guitars to a mirage-like state, the flash of screaming vocals is made only more effective. The song builds and builds through melody, and releases itself all at once with a ginormous release of emotion and frustration made up of passionate screams and heavy instrumentals.
“What if the sun swallowed me whole, and I don’t get to grow old?”
“Slowfade” and “Everything In Colour” were the two lead singles from the album, and work nicely as they play through one after the other. “Slowfade” features all the melodies we are already growing to love, as well as showcasing that Sleep Talk can also bring the heavy. Headbanging and moshing through a hard-hitting breakdown, the song leads into “Everything In Colour” with a flowing ending of ringing guitars, clean vocals, and incredibly well-structured instrumentals. Taking a rockier and punkier approach now, “Everything In Colour” puts the clean vocals in the forefront predominately. The catchy chorus and instrumentals make you want to dance despite the harshness of the screams, and actually makes it come across as somewhat of a feel-good summer anthem despite the clear emotion behind it. It makes you want to jump and sing along, and I’m sure this will make “Everything In Colour” an incredibly fun time live for many years to come.
Moving onto “If I Die”, this song was my absolute favorite. It starts heavily and emotionally, yet anthemically so. The melancholic guitars and vocals mix so well and create an overwhelming and gripping sense of tension. You listen and just can’t turn it off as you’re just dying to hear what happens next. Lyrically speaking of death and darkness, the upsetting subject matter makes it only more effective. Soft clean verses offer a chance to step back and appreciate it more, but the chorus will relentlessly draw you back in. The atmosphere of it is phenomenal, and all of this builds to a titanic emotional release. Tearing screams, smashing cymbals, one belting guitar, and one screeching guitar line rolling through the background, makes for the biggest sense of pain and release I have felt in a song in a long time. The effectiveness of it makes for something incredibly special, and as it closes out with some perfectly constructed instrumental sections I am made to think, “this is how you write a song”.
“New Tradition” is a fun punky track filled with funky verses and a strong chorus. It came out roughly a year ago, so it’s nice to see it popping up on the debut album. This leads into one of the more unique songs, “Shadow”. Dark instrumental tones make you feel like you’re in a horror movie. An image of a dark hallway springs to mind and I’m immediately on edge. Deep monotonal vocals seep into the song and work with the instrumentals to form an intense feeling of suspense. “Shadow” rides this emotion for a while before working into a big rocky instrumental closing and makes for a special atmosphere.
“Allergic to the World” provides a hard and fast heavy track that clocks in at 1 minute and 49 seconds. With no messing around, they instill a powerful sense of aggression as the hard and fast track makes you want to move. This leads into the following song, “Sleep Talk”. Incredibly well written, it keeps you on your toes as it throws you all over the place tempo-wise. Melodic and slow sections will lull you into a false sense of security, while repeated outbursts of fury, screams, and heavy instrumentals make you want to move. I feel this as a feeling of fighting against one’s own demons, and as they get louder and louder it becomes tougher to fight back, eventually, they take over and overrun you. As the instrumentals get harder and faster to end the song, the demons have won, and the aggression and emotion take charge. “Sleep Talk” is another highlight track, so absolutely watch out for this one.
Coming towards the end of the album, “The New Year” is made up of strength and pain. Echoing guitars slide along with harsh vocals and create a melancholic feeling of grief. A penultimate display of talent, Sleep Talk have maintained consistent energy throughout the album, and have shown while they can maintain a sense of energy and emotion, they are able to do this while still mixing up their sound.
The cherry on top, “The Kill”, puts a spotlight on the scream vocals in the verses. Allowing an extra brutal look at them, you can feel the scraping gravelly tones as they fill your ears and make you audibly go “oh hello”. The mesmerizing clean vocals offer a sense of relief from this and work to create a very traditionally rocky instrumental atmosphere. Rolling fun guitar licks dwell in the background of powerful instrumental sections, and make for a satisfying and anthemic end to the album.