A Sleepless Grey is Adrift for Days’ third full length album.
Released five years after 2012’s momentous Come Midnight, A Sleepless Grey is Adrift for Days letting us know they’ve returned. Returned, that is, with a vengeance. This is noticeable in opener ‘We Stare Into The Sky’ in which the quintet alternate between passages both quiet and abrasive. Vocalist Mick Kaslik is fine form; seamlessly switching among a ceaseless roar, to almost spoken passages, and haunting intonations.
Next up is the title track, thar again begins with a quiet passage and those haunting vocals, though this time they lean towards more of a chant. The vocals continue, and soon give way to a cavernous roar amid sinister instrumentation. Adrift for Days certainly know how to set a mood, particularly noticeable in the title track, as the band ebbs and flows between moods, are Mick’s vocals. He comes across as a veritable chameleon, in a similar mould to one Dax Riggs. This varied approach suits the frenzied moods the band create alongside him.
‘The Earth Begins to Shake’ begins by creating a mood similar to that found on the band’s previous albums; until the screams kick in and the band adjusts to suit. ‘The Spinning Wheel’ begins (and ends) with some plaintive guitar that calls to mind some of Boris’ better moments. The track then crashes into life when the band picks back up. ‘The Spinning Wheel’ is a fine example of the shifted dynamics that Adrift for Days are employing on this album. It’s executed so well that it feels shorter than its near-eight minute length. That, I think is one of the strengths of this album and a testament to Adrift for Days’ collective compositional skills; no track on here runs shorter than six minutes, but the album doesn’t wear out its welcome.
‘Feast of Fools’ begins with some droning guitar, which underpins the track as the band weaves a heavy melody around it. Mick’s multifaceted vocal approach is employed to great effect here. To the point where (if you didn’t know any better) it feels like more than one vocalist graces the track.
‘This Sinking Feeling’ is more of a sombre piece. Perfect for its position on the album, and the mood created suits the lyrics and title. An immense guitar solo rides the track out. The final track ‘When the Knot Unties’ at first conjures a desolate atmosphere that calls to mind being stranded in a desert without an oasis. It soon ascends into a heavy crescendo that leads the song out amid tortured vocals and psychedelic solos.
Two things are apparent: Adrift for Days have consolidated their sound, and seem to be focusing on the specific attributes that work for them. The streamlined approach sees them in the midst of creating their own sound, and if they continue on this path, I can only imagine great things lying ahead.
1. We Stare Into the Sky
2. A Sleepless Grey
3. The Earth Begins to Shake
4. The Spinning Wheel
5. Feast of Fools
6. This Sinking Feeling
7. When the Knot Unties