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65daysofstatic - Sensationally and sonically mock genre boundaries
on 26 April 2010
Sheffield post rock band 65daysofstatic hold two special places on the "mantelpiece" in this humble abode. The first is the trophy for one of the greatest piano instrumentals of recent years the truly awe inspiring "Radio Protector" from "One time for all time" and other for possibly the greatest song title from any British band the wonderfully named "Install a Beak In the Heart That Clucks Time In Arabic". You can only gap in awe at moments of inspiration like that! Indeed one of my favourite reviews on Amazon of this band comes from the reviewer who argued simply that there debut album "the Fall of Math" was "Aphex Twin and Mogwai meet down an alley in Sheffield. There's a scuffle, someone gets glassed. This is the result..".
This quote speaks volumes and well done "City Park" whoever you are. It still partly holds some truth although on this new album 65dos mark a move away from post rock to a clearer post noughties techno/electronica with some echoes of the Fk Buttons, Scuba, Pendulum and even the Prodigy. It makes for an album that Mike Myers in Wayne's World would describe as "Intensity in 10 cities" and like the great Tarot Sport it is chock full of filthy distortion and noise as waves of squall are layered like the sonic booms of multiple jet engines.
The album starts with "Mountainhead" with the sort of arpeggiated synthesizers so beloved of the Orbital but with a punch so sadly lacking from their latter albums. One of my favourite tracks is "Dance Dance, Dance" with its huge African sounding tribal drums and it has so much pace and verve that it could catch a cheetah. But the prize goes to "Crash Tactics" a brilliant if initially more restrained instrumental, married with that nasty synth that the Prodigy wickedly conjured in "Smack my bitch up" and bionic drum beats that threaten your very foundations. Pathetically the only thing I can say about it is "Wow". Mention in dispatches should also go to "Piano" fights and the slow burning "Débutante".
Inevitably you are drawn to the Robert Smith of the Cure backed centrepiece "Come to me" a eight minute anthem that builds with such slow and raw power it will be viewed by your stereo as a case of brutal assault. Smith's vocals often repeated on loops work perfectly and perhaps he should seek part time employment with the band. Tinkling piano leads into huge waves of sounds until it hits 5.45 minutes and loses it in a wall of cacophonous guitars which permanently part your hair and leave you begging for mercy. It is huge. The other great epic on the "We were exploding anyway" is "Tiger Girl" a near 11 minute techno monster which is so relentless it will have the dancers in the Ibiza disco gasping for bottle's of Brecon water in exhaustion, indeed by its 8th minute such a fever pitch has been reached that you are almost relieved when the more graduated fade out starts a minute later until the song finally closes.
65dos comprising the quartet of Joe Shrewsbury, Paul Wolinski, Rob Jones and Simon Wright have laid claim to the sort of originality that Sheffield once produced in terms of Cabaret Voltaire and the early Human League. Yet this is very much modern sounds for modern days and the wonderful cover tells its own story. Call it post electro, deep house, Euro disco, synth rock or any other label you deem fit, I call it sensational.