WATERTANK – ‘Sleepwalk’

watertankWATERTANK – ‘Sleepwalk’
There really does appear to be something happening in the French music scene.  Obviously grasping the fact that adopting musical culture beyond their own borders is the way to go, we’re witnessing some great bands and inspirational releases hitting home harder than most.  Add to the list Watertank – hailing from Nantes this quintet has already shared the same stage as Baroness, Kylesa, Torche and The Ocean; all purveyors of low end grooves and riffs big enough to shake the planet.  Which has clearly left a lasting impression as this debut flaunts huge swathes of tar thick grooves, melodic sensibility and an ear for a tune; elevating it from prosaic and derivative, to derivative but immensely satisfying.  Comparisons to Floridian stoners Torche are inevitable and granted, their sound is a distinct match.  But where most may right them off as followers, we’re celebrating a winning style and execution that crosses occassionally into Quicksand and QOTSA territory; blazing a trail for Sleepwalk to nestle comfortably alongside Meanderthal, Harmonicraft and Lullabies to Paralyse.  The propulsive opening cut ‘Where It All Begins’ kicks us off, bouncing by in under three minutes without introducing itself.  ‘Giant Heads’ and ‘Pro Cook’ blend thunderous drums with pacy riffs to stunning effect; drilling their point into your head with the precision of a serial killer, before ‘Fear over The City’ rams it even further into the subconscious.  Bare faced comparison becomes lazy and inhibiting when taken in the context of this release, as it strides through stoner and sludge into dense post-hardcore and Rock.  We could site Helmet or modern day Prong as touch points but we’d be doing a disservice to the overall ability on show here.  The title track and ‘Holy Tranquilizer’ are dark and intense corridors that will soundtrack your nightmares for weeks, while ‘Sharp Beaks Strike Back’ and closer ‘Six Days’ throw any doubts as to their songwriting ability, straight to the wolves.  One for the purists this one and another riot from our noisy neighbours.  (8)
STEVE FLETCHER

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