“Post” genres tend to get a lot of play around these parts. Post-hardcore and post-metal are broad stroke genres for a lot of bands that we love here at Heavy Blog; we love gorgeous sounds and carefully crafted tear jerks, that’s for sure. The “post” tag does seem a bit surplus to requirements however. Are we at the stage where we have post-prog, post-deathcore yet? I dunno. That’s a question for another writer to attack. What we do have right here is the self proclaimed post-everything band The Tidal Sleep and their earnest, emotional brand of hardcore. Released on Holy Roar Records in the UK (duh), Be Water is a benchmark record for “post” fans to gush over. Yes, even I, the gore obsessed cretin can see the beauty in this art form.
These Germans have cut their teeth with several releases in just half a decade and have reached the pinnacle of their career thus far on Be Water. This is a record that is fit for long introspective journey listening just as much as it suits a casual listen. Dodging the usual pitfalls of post-hardcore – long rambling spoken word passages and coarse, jangling guitar tones – The Tidal Sleep reign in the self indulgence in favor of punchy rock numbers and lavish earworm choruses. At their most straight forward and typically post, “Bandages” and “Hearses” show a band fully capable of cranking out raucous rock music with heart. It’s the kind of heart that screams out the words for a love letter in a public place, blissfully unaware of anything else around. Try not to scream “I will hold my breath again” during the finale of “Hearses”. You will fail.
Be Water balances the careful art of screamo along side a more refined post hardcore sound. Think Defeater meeting latter day Thrice for a craft beer on a rainy day, but they end up making out. Of all the eleven tracks on the record, there’s not one that sits idle. Each cut is rammed full of desires, heartaches and confessions without ever coming off as melodramatic as many others practicing this trade. The raw emotion in the vocals, both clean and harsh, carries tracks like “Undertows” into the upper tiers of screamo royalty. They are powerful and direct but always feel honest, an attribute that makes The Tidal Sleep’s brand of energetic, emotional jams the sweetest kind of sorrowful.
The Tidal Sleep don’t seem like stopping any time soon and we all benefit from this greatly. Changing circumstances and day to day life have led to the band creating a tour de force of unapologetic, catchy post-hardcore. Bass player Thomas had the following to say about the record:
“For ‘Be Water’ we had to deal with even more logistics than before. We live all over Germany, but now we also have three dads in our band. Songwriting was a lot more effort of single persons in the band (but all of us wrote songs), and less jamming. we had to do ‘homework’. We rehearsed the ideas and (the) songs sent at home.Also this time the album is more “produced”. It was a choice to make it sound even more huge, while keeping the concept of being a somewhat hardcore band. Two tracks that show this would be ‘Undertows’ and ‘Collapses’. Heavy yet melodic, intense and still room to breathe.”
Thomas hits the nail on the head. The production on Be Water is beastly. Everything fits for one. Too often this type of band loses clarity in their vocals for a more rich guitar tone but not here. The drums punch, the bass shimmers and none of the emotion is lost from the gut wrenching vocal display on show. It’s simply a gorgeous sounding record full of the slickest sounding screamo this side of a Touché Amore show.
The Tidal Sleep head out on a UK run this October with fellow Holy Roar crew Svalbard. This is a perfect tour package, with Svalbard representing the harsher, crushing metal side of the post genres – the flip side from The Tidal Sleep and their less cut throat, more warm hug approach. The shows should be a mixture of tears and sore throats from belting out tracks like those found on Be Water. Catch me there.