Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Music To Write By: Blindside’s “Sleepwalking”

Why Listen? To hear art incarnate its subject matter; to tread the fine line between order and chaos; to hear aural sandblasting settle into something soothing.

“Sleepwalking” is one of those songs that smacks you in the face from the word go. Simon Grenehed’s guitar work alternates between rumbling riffs and screeching, palm-muted feedback, bassist Tomas Näslund and drummer Marcus Dahlström set up a syncopated beat, and over it all vocalist Christian Lindskog howls, “Words so secure screaming like an alarm! / Are you trying to wake me up?” Wake me up, indeed. Everything about the introductory verse of this Swedish post-hardcore band’s 2003 single seems calculated to jar listeners. It alternates between consonance and dissonance, melody and cacophony, teetering right on the edge of chaos. Then comes the chorus where the aural sandblasting settles into something almost soothing. The rhythm smooths into a steady cadence. Guitar chords follow suit. And Lindskog drapes the whole thing with angelic harmonies. How appropriate for a song about spiritual blindness and recovering a clear perspective. Blindside understands that art should incarnate its subject matter.

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