Watertank Sleepwalk

Watertank Sleepwalk
7
Sharing stages with such unique acts as Torche, Baroness and Kylesa, Watertank were bound to have those influences rub off on them. Hailing from Nantes in western France, this lean quintet distil the essences of said acts, adding a liberal helping of Midwest post-rockers Riddle of Steel (Andrew Elstner's band before he joined Torche) on their debut full-length, Sleepwalk. Changing directions completely from 2004's Sub and 2009's Fairy Crimes EPs, Watertank now prefer melodicism over noise, as demonstrated by album opener "Where It All Begins." It helps that vocalist Thomas B. sounds almost exactly like Torche's Steve Brooks on "Giant Heads," "Off the Radar" and the rollicking title track, though the guitar duo of Bojan A. and Julien G. is the crux of Watertank's extreme dynamics. Transitioning through phases of post-hardcore heroes Helmet ("Holy Tranquilizer") and Quicksand ("Far from Low"), the group pay proficient tribute without grovelling as mere musical mendicants. "Pro Crook" shows the bass and drum synergy between Vincent A. and Jocelyn L., respectively. Watertank certainly toe the line between tribute band and rip-off act, though they win out in the end with the type of gravity metal fans prefer when listening to rock. Sliding smoothly into Solar Flare's roster with fellow label-mates Sofy Major and Unsane side-project Pigs, Watertank hopefully won't wait another ten years to record a follow-up to the excellent Sleepwalk. (Solar Flare)