Subculture Media Reviews:
(originally published on Suite 101)
Brisbane, Queensland. You couldn’t get farther from Seattle or Colorado, yet it is in Brisbane where Grunge music is being reborn, for it is here that Sleepwalks call home. Over the years, many young bands have claimed that “they are the new Nirvana”, but Sleepwalks don’t even have to make that claim, because after just one listen to their debut album The Milk Has Gone Sour, their audience will be doing all the talking for them.
It’s not surprising that this trio has been able to capture the Grunge sound so well — not when you realise that The Milk Has Gone Sour is produced by Steve Albini, a producer who has worked with the likes of Nirvana, Stooges, The Pixies, PJ Harvey and Dirty Three in the past. With his experience and Sleepwalks’ talent mixed together, The Milk Has Gone Sour is an album that allows you to lay back, close your eyes and then find yourself being transported back to the glory days of grunge. The good news is that Sleepwalks haven’t just rehashed an old sound; no, they have actually pushed it forward into modern day and completely reinvented… and as a result, The Milk Has Gone Sour is a must-have. It is 11 tracks of pure Grunge bliss.
This is a bliss created by lead vocalist Kevin Fincham’s vocals. After just a few lines of opening track “Clicks”, you realise that he captures the 90s Grunge sound to a “T” with his vocals, and by the time “Pith” swings on by, you are completely in love with the sound of his voice. He has one of the finest styles of any vocalist going around at the moment.
“Grimless” sees Sleepwalks pick up the pace, and its raw sound will be welcomed back with open arms, as computer technology has meant it is now a rarity. But if its the Nirvana sound that you are craving then you can’t go past “Bottle It”. This is a great Grunge track that proves that Sleepwalks have a solid future ahead of them.
The faster pace of “Negatives” and “Rufus” gives drummer Damian Masters a chance to showcase his wares, while Fincham ones again steals the show on “Rufus”. Even punk fans may find themselves impressed by “No No Yes Yes”, a track that opens with a sweet instrumental beginning and then gives one to some strong brute force.
Fincham once again proves why he is one of the best vocalists going around when he wails “just as long as you feel alright” (on “Fingers”) and “not my problem” (on “Bile Duct”). It is this kind of styling that made Nirvana’s Bleach such a masterpiece, and Grunge lovers will be ecstatic to hear this style reborn in the hands (or should that be vocal chords) of Kevin Fincham. Sleepwalks are such a good band that even when they produce a slower track like “Grenadier”, it sounds awesome and not like they have lost their way.
Hearing how great The Milk Has Gone Sour really is is a terrifying prospect when you realise that this is Sleepwalks’ debut album. It really makes you realise that you have discovered something great, and only time will tell if these guys are the next Masters of Grunge.
Subculture Media Review #2: This review first appeared in Buzz Magazine.
Hailing from Brisbane, Queensland Sleepwalks are a trio that really know how to surround themselves with the right people. The Milk Has Gone Sour may be their debut album but it was produced by the legendary Steve Albini, who can list artists such as Nirvana, Stooges, The Pixies and PJ Harvey on his CV. And he certainly brings the best out of these guys. There are many bands who claim that they will be loved by Nirvana fans, but Sleepwalks can (and have) produced the goods. Close your eyes while listening to The Milk Has Gone Sour and you are quickly transported back to the glory days of grunge.
The good news is that Sleepwalks haven’t just rehashed an old sound, no they have actually pushed it forward into modern day and completely re-invented… and as a result The Milk Has Gone Sour is a must have. It is eleven tracks of pure grunge bliss.
As soon as the opening track, “Clicks” starts pumping out of your stereo Kevin Fincham’s vocals transport you back to the 90s and by the time “Pith” swings on by you are completely in love with the sound of his voice… he has one of the finest styles of any vocalist going around at the moment.
“Grimless” is faster-paced and has a great raw sound to it… something that computer technology has wiped out for many bands. But it us on “Bottle It’ where Sleepwalks really capture that old Nirvana sound. This is a simply a brilliant grunge track that showcases a band that must have a great future ahead of them.
The short and sweet “Negatives” shows that Sleepwalks gets better the faster they play while drummer, Damian Masters’ skills are there for all to see on “Rufus”. ‘Sheep” once again displays some brilliant vocal work by Fincham while a soft instrumental opening on “No No Yes Yes” gives way to some pure brutal force… that may even win over some punk fans.
Fincham sounds even more like Kurt Cobain as he wails ‘just as long as you feel alright’ (on “Fingers”) and “not my problem” (on “Bile Duct”). It is this kind of styling that made Nirvana’s Bleach such a masterpiece, and grunge lovers will be ecstatic to hear this style re-born in the hands (or should that be vocal chords) of Kevin Fincham. And just to show that they really can’t put a foot wrong Sleepwalks close with the slower “Grenadier”… which may be slower but is no less fine.
Hearing how great The Milk Has Gone Sour really is, is a terrifying prospect when you realise that this is Sleepwalks’ debut album. It really makes you realise that you have discovered something great and only time will tell if these guys are the next Masters of Grunge.