photos.helen wesctott (hermanus. the next night)
A hallowed howl came out of R.O.A.R from the throats of The Sleepers last Friday night. It gargled blood, love and heaven and finished with a fine climax that brought inner walls crashing in on themselves.
Each time this band gets up on stage and breaks it down, the veneer of bourgeois bliss peels back another layer. Not that it’s about class - these boys with expensive toys work hard and play harder. (and anyway, we all know it’s a cult/ure war, not a class war (sorry, zinaid)). With their evil, equal mix of dark and light, The Sleepers are slowly waking us up to the fact that there is more to their music than meets the ear, and more to the mutliverse we call our hometown than withering winter wails.
Give Adam Hill, Steven Jacobson, Jordi Reddy, Nicolai Roos and Simon Tamblyn a chance and their scheming riffs and raids on rhythm will prove that the range of emotions broiling in slaapstad psyches extends beyond spring hope and summer bliss and winter blues into rage, reverence and wry detachment . I make no mistake with my take: The Sleepers herald a new season of the soul.
There’s a bit of a crossover going on here, and dissonance is a distant dream against the power of their sound. The harmony’s in their devilry. the guitars are so tight they meld and I haven’t heard a more articulate and delicate (sic) drummer in the city since kesivan cut the chords of my education (his is jazz fusion, by the way, and this is dark rock). Simon’s dissenting vocals offset any expectations that the popover may have left us with (a popover’s what you get when the morning after listening to too much commercial radio, and is best remedied with silence.) Altogether it mixes madly into something south of sane.
You’ll come out of The Sleepers gigs inspired. They carve catharsis out of sound, they curl toes and turn the night around.
Expect the ordinary and you will be sorely disappointed.