Sleep Parade
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Sleep Parade

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"Album Of The Week"

Sleep Parade - Things Can Always Change (Shock)
A lot has happened in the last couple of years for Melbourne trio Sleep Parade, and not all of it good. They lost the majority of their equipment and instruments in a warehouse inferno, saw the acrimonious departure of a keyboardist, and in a particularly cruel and ongoing struggle, frontman and guitarist Leigh Davies' father continues to battle schizophrenia. On the other hand, the time has seen the transformation of a middle-tier rock act into a bonafidable headliner and a band of progressive musical muscle matched by few. In terms of sheer musicallity, Sleep Parade stepped up. As the title suggests, things can always change, and theres something to be said here about the worst kind of suffering informing the best kind of art. Talk about a trial by fire.
With Things Can Always Change. Sleep Parade have emerged with one of the best debut albums of the year. Produced by Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Martin Martini, The Butterfly Effect, etc), known for his crisp and sumptuous production technique, the record is muscially ambitious, immaculately crafted, and sonically sublime.
The driving punchy opener 'Carry On', with its soaring vocal, belting riff and powerhouse breakdown, is the obvious choice for first single. But perhaps misleadingly, it also sees the band at their most rocking.It's only when the second track 'Everyday' unfolds in two definite 'movements' over the course of a epic eight minutes, that the listener gets an understanding of the bands truly progressive tendencies. From the ambient intro of electronic hi-hats and clean guitar arpeggio', to the crunching syncopated riff of the chorus, through the pulse-like mantra that kicks off the second movement, to the thrilling riff-fest of the song's close, Everyday holds it own alongside anything that fellow Aussie prog-rockers Karnivool and Cog have ever done. Likewise, percussionist Dan Teng's spectacular fills are sure to prompt random air-drumming while the outro reprise section is as heavy and head-nodding as any afore-mentioned fan could ever hope for. The song is a triumph.
The down-tempo One Track Mind and two following tracks see Sleep Parade explore more mellower spacious material through acoustic guitars and gorgeous synth arrangements, while bassist James Livesy as ever provides an understated rhythmic spine to the songs. Davies' falsetto is both frayed and beautiful, while his guitar-work and crying-lead lines perfectly colour the emotional tangents. A simple keyboard-line provides the basis for Underground, showcasing the band in a light that earlier heavier tracks don't, as does the warm acoustic strumming of All we are, which gradually ascends in intensity via lush overlapping harmonies.
The Phrase 'all we are is all we are' in one repeated throughout the album. Thematically speaking, Things Can Always Change is dedicated to Davies' father and tracks the emotional fallout both personally and within close family when someone struggles with that kind of mental illness, and how it directly effects the relationships around them. While this might seem rather weighty material, Davies nevers slaps it on with a trowel, and the knowledge that the lyrical content is coming form such a dark place actually enhances the album lending it a further gravity.
A gamboling synth-line unspools into Passenger, another album highlight. It marks the point where the albumreturns to a more up tempo feel, and Davies impassioned chorus is one of the most hook-savy and satisfying moments on the record. So too, the straight forward rock of Open Up with its clever combination of acoustic and distorted guitar, is both anthemic and powerful. A sanguine lead-line segues into Barriers, Teng's thunderous toms erupting into the heartfelt chorus, before Davies once again takes the listener on an unexpected detour and a inspired solo.
Arguably, the band save the best til last, with the mightyWeeping Walls. A song of majestic proportions and myriad textures, Davies's vocal performance is the stuff to raise the hairs on your arm and it is here where the comparisons to Radiohead and Oceansize (a notable influenze on the band) are most apparent. In the epic climax, a squalling wall of sound is punctuated by huge drum-shots as a wailing guitar-line winds throughout, while the cresendo is carried by an anguished refrain which, fittingly is the albums title.
With the release of Things Can Always Change, Sleep Parade have evolved into a heavyweight contender on the Australian prog-rock scene. And like other more celebrated progressive three-piece acts that dynamically run the full gamut and generate a similarly massive multi-textured sound (ie; Cog, Muse), they're now a band that also shift some serious air. A flawless world-class album.
Nick Snelling - Beat Magazine - Beat Magazine (AUS)


"8/10 Album Review"

SLEEP PARADE
Things Can Always Change
(Shock)
8/10
Out of troubled times experienced through their personal and professional lives, Melbourne trio Sleep Parade has put together an album that stands up loudly and proudly against better known prog-rockers Cog, Butterfly Effect, Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus. 'Things Can Always Change' took two years to record and release due to line-up changes, losing the majority of their equipment in a warehouse fire and the family struggles faced by frontman Leigh Davies. Sleep Parade's progressive, synth-supported sound is as haunting as it is powerful, combining mellow, reflective moments with rocking guitar and drum-heavy climaxes. The album is dedicated to Davies' father, who struggles with mental illness, and this provides the inspiration for the lyrical subject matter, giving the songs a dark feel and an intensity that can't be fabricated. 'Things Can Always Change' is an album that instantly impresses and gets better with every listen. Standout tracks include the punchy, rocking-out opener 'Carry On', progressive and climatic 'All We Are', and the intense and beautifully arranged closing track, 'Weeping Walls' (LukeD).

TSUNAMI MAGAZINE
- Tsunami Magazine (AUS)


"Album Review"

Sleep Parade - Things Can Always Change (Inependent)
Sleep Parade have really stepped out on alimb with this album. But for most, that's what so good about it. The fact that there's so many daring elements and instances as far as the debut album goes, is what makes it stick so vividly in your head, a fervent representitive, channelling the purest of creative and positive elements of the currently upsurging surroundings. First of all, it's daring enough to jump from the initial idea of an EPto a full length album An especially ballsy move for these guys, as their apparent songwriting and compositional stylings seem so well suited to the confines of an EP. But the fact that they've stepped outside of the constraints of impatient expectancies, delivering a wealth of songs that breathe and encompass such a vivid sense of space, calls for an equal weight of patience and understanding; perhaps somehow a sort of poetic analogy to their advocation of mental illness awareness. Furthermore, the patience and attentiveness that is so called for is well worth it. The album is extremely dynamic, and encompasses a broad range of textural musical atmospheres, more often than not on the softer side of things. But possibly one of the only things as mature, emotive and dynamic as the instrumental arrangements are the powerfully beautiful vocal tapestries, that soar with ardent energy. In a similar vein, :Leigh Davies' individual note choices fir vocals are something of a standout; refreshingly unexpected and immaculately executed - the harmonies, a complete other level. The muscianship is honest and passionate - be it unisons, soothingly jarring chordal movements; it's all made with complete emphasis and conviction.
This album is really something special. So much heart and soul has gone into this recording, and the go-to audio overlord Forrester Savell once again proves his efforts witha masterful touch for engineering, mixing, mastering, not missing a smidgen of what Sleep Parade are all about. And if you don't know what they're about: find out now. Atticus Barstow - INpress Magazine - Inpress Magazine (AUS)


"10/10 Album Review"

Sleep Parade - Things Can Always Change
10/10 Contributed by Sam Quinlan
It's done, it's a reality. After losing most of their gear in a fire, suffering criminal lack of attention from the music world at large, and numerous other hindrances, Melbourne individualsters Sleep Parade have released their debut album. Things Can Always Change is epic, coherent, meditative, hard rocking, and cathartic for both the band and the listener. It's filled from start to finish with abundant colour, captivating musical journeying, slick studio production and raw human emotion.

Sleep Parade are extremely hard to pigeonhole in terms of "genre" or whatever it's called these days. They can be put in the general "new school of Aussie alternative rock" basket with Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus and so on (and they measure up to the bar), but as with any great band in that diverse basket, they're not quite like anything else. They cite Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Oceansize, The Mars Volta and Opeth as influences, and I'm surprised that Mutemath are not also on that list. The album combines a prog-alt-rock sensibility with fearless use of synths and electronic sounds, and when Sleep Parade are in charge of the fusing, it's as if the two realms were made for each other. And don't panic if you're a conventional rock fan, because a rock band is still essentially what they are.

Things Can Always Change contains all kinds of tracks. Relatively mainstream "pop" songs like "Carry On", "Passengers" and "Open Up" are filled with goodies that are friendly enough for virtually any radio station, and I mean that in the most positive way possible. Epics like "Everyday", "Barriers" and "Weeping Walls" reveal a compositional strength that is simply remarkable. "Underground" is an ambient, electronic-based piece containing a lot of 7/8 time. "All We Are" is an equally atmospheric acoustic trip. And "One Track Mind" combines all of these characteristics brilliantly.

"Minimalist" would be precisely the wrong word to describe this music. It's very layered and very studio-made. The band has three members. Five people sung on the album. Four people played synth. Three people did some drum programming, and the drummer was not one of them. The already legendary Forrester Savell did all three of these things, as well as bringing the whole project together with flawless production.

The band's attention to detail and the care they have taken in writing the music is phenomenal. It seems that not a single note played or sung by anyone on the entire album has slipped through as a result of carelessness or is just there for the sake of being there. Frontman, guitarist and chief lyricist Leigh Davies delivers a passion and honesty that makes the whole thing so human, despite the considerable amount of "artificial sound" going on. Bassist James Livesey adds another dimension with his musical consciousness and subtleties. Drummer Dan Teng is watertight, expressive and intense. Former keyboardist Paul Zubrinich left the band during the making of the album, but you can still hear his contribution on six of the ten tracks (although "Passengers", a track which makes extensive use of the synth as a lead instrument, is not one of them).

Lyrically, the album is pretty much Davies sharing his soul. The basis for the subject matter is his father's struggle with schizophrenia, but the lyrics come across more as contemplation of universal human themes than restrictively specific packages of literal meaning.

Although their music is heavily studio-oriented, and they even use some backing tracks on the stage, rest assured that Sleep Parade are a great live band. Every time I've seen them play, they've given everything to the performance regardless of how many people have or haven't turned up. These guys are going places, many more places than they've already gone, and it's all I can do to advise that you experience the inspired work of art they have created.

Things Can Always Change is out now Australia-wide through Shock Distribution. Check out Sleep Parade's music at their MySpace profile (www.myspace.com/sleepparade) or visit their official forum hosted by OzProg.

- OZ PROG.COM


"8/10 Album Review"

The first time I spun this debut full-length by Melbourne's Sleep Parade I was blown away with their command of their instruments, intriguing song structures, complex and subtle song arrangements and the fluidity of it all. Leigh Davies has a booming, melodic voice and when layered upon harmonies from bassist James Livesy and drumer Dan Teng and delivered with a heartfelt passion. "Open Up" drives that message home as well. Masters of their craft, Sleep Parade similarly reflect a heavy Silverchair influence to boot, leading to some wonderful moments of power and drive. Another band in the growing progressive rock scene, Sleep Parade have more chops and better quieter moments than most. Jeremy Sheaffe. - Blunt Magazine (AUS)


Discography

"Things Can Always Change" - Album 2008
"You Are Here" - EP 2006

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Bio

Updated JAN 2009

"With the release of 'Things Can Always Change' Sleep Parade have evolved into a heavyweight contender on the Australian prog-rock scene. A Flawless, world-class album".
Nick Snelling Beat

Melbourne three-piece Sleep Parade's debut album Things Can Always Change was released in April 2008 through Shock Records.

In 2009 the bands plans include spending the 1st half of the year touring Australia, as they continue to promote the 'Things Can Always Change' album, plans also inlcude a yet to be announced, 3rd single. As well, as writing the follow up album marked for a 2010 release, the end of 2009 will see Sleep Parade's 1st European Tour, more to be announced soon.

Sleep Parade spent most of 2008 on the road nation-wide with bands such as Porcupine Tree (UK), Cog, The Butterfly Effect, Mere Theory & Trial Kennedy.

Things Can Always Change has impressed fans and critics alike with its sonic beauty as well and complex arrangements,

* 10/10 Review - 0zProg.com
* 8/10 Review - Blunt Magazine
* Album Of The Week - Beat Magazine

Sleep Parade cite Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Oceansize, The Mars Volta and Opeth as influences.

Tracks like the first radio single 'Carry On' and the 2nd single 'Passengers' showcase Sleep Parade's ability to write an intelligent high-energy rock song, where as tracks such as 'Everyday' and the epic conclusion to the album, 'Weeping Walls' display the band's desire to work outside the 3 minute boundary.

You can check the clip to 'Passengers' at www.youtube.com/SP0208

www.myspace.com/sleepparade
www.lastfm.com/music/sleep+parade
www.sonicbids.com/sleepparade