sleepmakeswaves, Mornings, Meniscus, Pirate @ ANU Bar, Canberra (30/09/11)

It seems Canberra is in the midst of a unofficial post-rock binge, with the recent visit of heavyweights Russian Circles only a few weeks past being promptly followed up last Friday by Sydney’s sleepmakeswaves. Add a slew of incredibly diverse and interesting acts in support, and a night of intrigue soaked in ambience, layers and many, many, delay pedals was ensured to be had.

Beginning the night’s entertainment was Sydney 4 piece Pirate, who on their first visit to the capital brought a eclectic mélange of instrumentation that synergistically melded into a brilliant and fervent soundscape. A strong rhythm section comprising of 5 string bass with inventive work behind the skins was complimented with saxophone and guitar work reminiscent to that of The Mars Volta’s Omar Rodrí­guez-Lí³pez, all of which combined to create a vibrant pastiche of sounds that defy easy description. Highly energetic performances by the entire band only increased the spectacle to be had, although a somewhat unenthusiastic crowd who seemed hesitant to get into it so early in the night left a lot to be desired in terms of general energy throughout the room. Pirate return to Canberra soon, so be sure to venture out and witness what will surely be a fantastic show.

Fellow Sydney-siders Meniscus followed shortly after, the trio on stage playing in front of a lavish projection of live visuals that only made the performance all the more inclusive. Ambient soaked passages driven by poly-rhythmic percussion at times left the unmistakable taste of a more relaxed, chilled out Isis, with strong performances that were at times hypnotic to watch. A fantastic and energetic set saw Mensicus leave the stage to strong applause and surely a batch of newly found fans.

Local favourites Mornings took to the stage next, playing their signature blend of instrumental post-rock rife with delayed and distorted guitar textures and deceptively simple bass lines that have become an integral part of the Canberra scene’s musical fabric. Energetic performances by the entire band made for a strong set that stirred a positive reaction from an appreciative audience.

Headline act sleepmakeswaves made their appearance as the bar closed and the punters flocked in front of the stage for the beginning of the set. Opening with the cinematic and lavish Our Time is Short but Your Watch is Slow, a track from their latest effort …And So We Destroyed Everything that provided a seamless overture for the performance to follow; pensive, introverted music comprised of layered components, each of which contributing to the whole that forms a grandiose and majestic sound that ebbs and flows with an emotional poignancy that few acts manage to achieve. A hypnotised crowd stood in awe as sleepmakeswaves moved through a stunning set that left everyone in the room in a dazed state of euphoric amazement, something that sleepmakeswaves manage seemingly all too easily.