on 29 March 2006
There aren't many albums by many bands that you can look back on and think unequivocally that they have made you see music in a new light. That made you feel naive, like you've really discovered something that previously you couldn't comprehend might exist. I can think of maybe two albums like that. 65DOS are one of those bands and The Fall of Math is one of those albums, it will make your life a better place. The energy, the power, the emotion, the awesome song writing, the creativity, the artistry, honestly im getting goose bumps trying to write this stuff down. 65 days are a collision of post-rock with drum and bass schizophrenia, with a whole heap of euphoria thrown in on top just to properly overload you. These guys are geniuses. I challenge you to listen to retreat retreat! or Aren't we all running? without feeling the urge to spread your arms wide, throw your head back and laugh manically at the sky because its the only thing you can think of doing to cope with the euphoria of it all. Whether you like fiercely energetic guitars, skittering drums, banging drum n bass beats or beautiful swathes upon swathes of keyboards you will be moved to new levels by this band. If you're worried about the instrumental nature of it all, don't be, once you've heard this you'll realise that music really shouldn't have vocals.
Buy this album, rejoice, weep. It might actually be the best thing in the world.
on 22 August 2013
'The Fall of Math' is the début album from Sheffield's post-rock outfit 65daysofstatic.
Post-rock is not a new phenomena and like most modern off-shoot genres it has its fair share of definitions. Lest I get caught up in the various nuances that may characterise one form or another (a fruitless endeavour), the biggest and most vital difference between equivalent Sheffield rockers Def Leppard and this new breed four-piece 65daysofstatic (65DOS henceforth) is their lack of vocals. For me this is what sets apart post-rock from classic rock.
Strip away the lyrics and then relatability and context vanish. In the classical rock band formation guitars must step in to create timbres and textures that harness expression and mood rather than just a simple melody or chord. Without words there is a void of meaning that simultaneously creates the space necessary for the instruments to freely articulate themselves. Prog-rock's sophistication of instrumentation and compositional techniques would be a highly appropriate comparison.
65DOS recipe is to take the prog-rock and the post-rock and infuse it with modern electronic ambiance and amen-esque ecstasy. They have become the musical equivalent of post-modernism - a pluralistic and non defined melting pot. And here is what is in that melting pot: a combination of live drums and sampled breaks (of the scatty Aphex Twin variety), stuttering fuses of electronics and intermittent phases of thrash, ambiance and downtempo, but not necessarily in that order(!)
Sounds a mess? Well it is a bit. Take for example the actual fall/demise of math(s) (as per the album's title); a necessary mainstay of life as we know it. What were to really happen if something as fundamental as this were to crack? According to the New Statesman the name of the band was derived from psychological experiments that were conducted in the 50s and 60s in which it was found that people would be driven insane if exposed to 65 days of white noise (a.k.a static).
For the most part 65DOS evoke images of a post-apocolyptic world; beyond natural disasters and war and into a place that is almost unimaginable - this is the type of elevated emotion that is harnessed. Music for escapists. A blend of Boards /Mogwai /Explosions In The Sky.
'The Fall of Math' is a truly remarkable album. It is a slow starter whose scene is not appropriately set until the main single 'Retreat! Retreat!'; it's direct formula is invigorating. Phases of any similar artists are often short-lived interchanging with the varying pace. Some tracks are more aggressive in nature: next to 'I Swallowed Hard, Like I Understood' I have just written ammunition / fire power. Stark contrasts of texture, noise and pace are utilised throughout. The clean and tight 'This Cat is a Landmine' (me neither) is juxtaposed/sandwiched between the epic call and response of 'Fall of Math' and evocative chorus of 'Hole'.
This allows the band to sooth sore us with moments of therapeutic resonance that ascend into harmonious textures - take for example 'Fix the Sky a Little'.
As you would expect the closing 'Aren't We All Running' sets a profound statement of intent. It is the most honestly devastating piece on the record. The lead guitar is so highly pitched/thrashed that it yelps a soaring scream; almost human.
It is a shivering close that makes you sadistically yearn for more destruction. In 'The Fall of Math' post-rock's 65daysofstatic show us that music is a language unto itself. Vocals are old hat!
Listen To: 'The Fall of Math', 'Hole', 'Fix the Sky a Little', 'Aren't We All Running'
This album, and pretty much everything by 65daysofstatic, is quite simply brilliant.
I have to confess that I bought the album completely randomly when it was first released because I liked the name of the band. I still remember the first time I listened to the thing - early one morning before going to the big launch of a project I'd been working on for two years. The driving beats of 'Install a Break...' are not what you need when you are trying not to get stressed out, but for someone who still isn't entirely sure what post-rock means, it was a revelation.
You don't listen to 65daysof static, you experience it... I've never been satisfactorily been able to explain what they sound like to anyone I've enthused at about them.
A few of my favourite bits:
- Install a break - love the more flowing passages and the contrast with when the drums and guitars kick in, and the drum solo thing 3 minutes in.
- Retreat! Retreat! - slamming guitars and love the tinkly little triangle noise at the start.
- Default base - convinced me that I might possibly like drum and base.
- I swallowed hard - just listened to this again, genius, no idea how drums and guitars can evoke so much emotion.
- This Cat is a landmine - love the title, love the song.
- The last home recording - that regular beep, makes it sound like some otherwordly radio signal or something.
- Hole - another one of those that builds, has a crescendo, builds again
Can't recommend highly enough, just can't describe it very well.
on 7 October 2004
Aphex Twin and Mogwai meet down an alley in Sheffield. There's a scuffle, someone gets glassed. This is the result...
on 11 April 2009
Having not actually heard much industrial postrock, and being unsure about whether or not it is a recognised music genre, makes my review purely speculative and a product only of my pure unremitting love for this album. It has the dramatic bass that marked the first Kasabian album (one track off which could very easily be a 65days song, check out 'Ovary Stripe') with the trademark disregard for conventional song structure that marks the great postrock bands (Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, This Will Destroy You). As well as a bit of Placebo (check out 'Bulletproof Cupid').
the most emotional, testosterone-fuelled music that does not rely on lyrics. quite what emos are doing wasting their time on My Chemical Romance (and other toe-nail-extractingly-irritating bands) is beyond me.
soundtrack music you can listen without the images.
truly exhilerating. enjoy
on 4 March 2009
This album is a glitchy instrumental masterpiece. It's got so many explosive moments on it, you will be reeling by the end of it.
65daysofstatic are one of the best bands on the planet, and consistently have been giving the world their own particular brand of guitar and electronic dynamic music for the last 5 or so years. But this, their debut album is still for me the best out of the three of them.
It's intense skittery beats are perfect for our time, with technology evasive in all parts of our lives. The songs build and release similar to most other instrumental bands, but these songs do with alot more ferocity than most other bands manage in a career. Listen to Retreat! Retreat! ... it's an absolutely storming track from a tour de force album.
But this, then One for All Time... two of the best instrumental albums ever.
on 8 February 2007
If you like Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky but get bored by the quiet bits, then 65 Days of Static could be the band for you.
At just under 45 minutes long `The Fall of Math' crackles with restless energy. The band put a dizzying array of music into the mix - breakneck drumming, keyboards, strings, electronic effects and most prominently guitars, for this is a post-rock album that truly rocks. In fact, whisper it if you dare, in places it is a bit nu-metal (sorry).
Spoken word samples are used sparsely but with great effect: `we will not retreat - this band is unstoppable!' introduces `Retreat! Retreat!' the album's best track and truly thrilling it is too.
Occasionally, the mix of styles is less than successful, for example the burst of Squarepusher-style electronica in `Default This' jars somewhat and towards the end of the CD compositional acumen seems to take second place to sheer energy.
`The Fall of Math' reminds me of Explosions in the Sky's `Those Who Tell the Truth...' but without all of the Texan outfit's subtlety and songwriting craft. However, if you are in the mood for something with raw energy this CD is an uplifting and thrilling listen. Good stuff!
on 2 March 2005
It's only natural to compare new bands to older bands if you're unsure of how to pigeonhole them. If you like that kind of thing then read some of the other comments here, they won't steer you wrong. However, without succumbing to comparison and cliche I'll attempt to explain what 65 Days of Static.
65 Days of Static is the post rock band you always wanted to play guitar (or any other instrument for that matter) in. They have such a fresh and wildly different sound that every song and every show is different and exciting. Fusing elements of melodic post rock with splinters of computer-breaking-down blips and glitches, all laid over impenetrable drum n bass loops, this band have taken every influence and thrown it out the window. Kerrang have latched on to them as the "nu-metal" hope for 2005; The Wire sees them as the best UK post rock act; Drowned In Sound touts them as electronic geniuses.
65 Days of Static are all of these things and none of these things. If you like metal then they're a fresh sounding metal band. If you like post rock then they're an inventive post rock band. If you like electronic then they're a daring electronic band.
You just have to listen to it to believe it. It sounds corny but just take a risk and buy this album.
on 8 March 2006
Got hold of this album a couple of months ago now, and I can't stop playing it! Prog/Post Rock is not usually the sort of music I listen to, but 65days' complex beats, awesome drumming and epic guitars have me hooked. "I swallowed hard..." is one of the greatest songs I have heard in a long time.
Cannot be recommended enough.
Check them live as well, amazing experience!
on 28 January 2007
...writing reviews, but I have to say that this is without doubt one of those defining pieces of plastic, that has made me re-examine what I'm currently listening to. It ticks so many of the right boxes, snatches of Drum n Bass, electonica, post-rock and hardcore. i can't remember hearing a band and feeling like this since MBV in teh 90s. Brilliant - buy it, download it - it's a must have.