For Fans Of
Inside/Out is an album which has dark, Karnivool-like touches with short dissonant moments, while still containing alternative elements, such as the many wailing lead guitar parts. The steady bass lines, like that found in ‘Oxygen’, hold everything together and are crucial to the driving force of many of the songs.
The introduction to the compound-timed ‘Mirrors’ is perhaps one of the best moments on the album, where brief piano leads to vocalist, Leigh Davies, singing, “I hold this gun, wake me up now” while the music forms the most interesting arrangement of the entire album. This even includes a bit of trumpet playing as the track makes its way to completion.
‘Footsteps’ slows the momentum for a moment whilst delivering some variety for the full-length. The song is a nice and unexpected acoustic roots-tinged track with harmonica. The drums in ‘2:09’ are perfectly paced in a way, which keeps you wanting more, and it makes the song seem fleeting (even though it lasts for more than double 2:09), but it is unexpected little things like these which make Inside/Out great.
‘Home’ begins with a colourful instrumental introduction, which is backed by a digital beat. This progresses, adding more instrumentation, and while there is just as much happening as in previous tracks on the album, the band manages to moderate the sound allowing the less-harsh vocals to be brought the fore. The song maintains the pared-back feeling following ‘The River’, at a point where the album could really use a return to the force of many of the earlier songs.
Fortunately, ‘Open Your Eyes’ then delivers the yearned-for thumping bass accompanied by some heavy guitars. The band even achieves some sweet vocal parts and a bit of piano throughout this song, and mixing these into the musical pot provides an intriguing combination.
Closer ‘Inside/Out’ comes in with a brief, measured and forward-moving, instrumental beginning. When the instruments pull back slightly the track moves into some deep vocals. Davies switches between this and a more powerful higher register, which contains hints towards Casey Crescenzo’s work in The Receiving End of Sirens and The Dear Hunter. As the track proceeds the higher register is sustained through to the end as the instruments kick in even further, providing a vigorous end.
Inside/Out, with its small yet not unnecessarily obscure surprises, is a damn good album, which hopefully gets Sleep Parade some well-deserved attention.
1. Devil’s Door
2. Dancing With The Enemy
8. The River
10. Open Your Eyes