65daysofstatic – We Were Exploding Anyway (Hassle) 26/04/2010

April 26, 2010 by  

Sheffield’s FX-laden-industrial-glitch-rockers 65daysofstatic have been making exhilarating noise for almost ten years now and “We Were Exploding Anyway”, their 4th LP, sees the band take their trademark sound to a place where anything is possible, a place where ambitious guitar textures correspond with off-beat techno rhythms and sharp electronic noises allowing opposites to collide spectacularly.

Opening track “Mountainhead” kicks off with some IDM style beats that thud intensely throughout the track, constantly thriving for attention whilst the driving bassline, multi-layered guitars and keys gradually rise above it. “Crash Tactics” brings out some mental break-like drums and lively guitars whilst “Dance Dance Dance” surges along with a mammoth of various rapturous sonics that results in a remarkable wall of noise.

“Piano Fights” opens with a twee toy piano, like eerie the calmness before the storm that is then ripped open with a colossus of distorted, delayed guitars along with some enticing glitch beats that propels the track towards an entirely different direction. The song just builds and builds; crescendo guitars tear apart and push forward with immense power until the track is laid to rest with waves of feedback. Before you have any chance of getting your breath back they instantly introduce the following track “Weak04”, that lashes out with a pounding kick drum and heavy bass line that dangerously borders on the horrid commercial rave sounds associated with gasp, Pendulum. Don’t worry though; any comparison is instantly smashed into pieces when they take it to the next level by layering complex drum patterns along with vicious electronics which create a warped style of rave music that the likes of Pendulum could only dream of creating. “Go Complex” is another example of this, where a synth line that sounds rather disturbingly close to something that you would hear on the Prodigy’s “Invaders Must Die”, is then destroyed by a combination of complex drum parts and slick guitar riffs.

In the summer of 2008, 65days supported The Cure on their North American tour and we see The Cure’s frontman Robert Smith lend his vocal prowess for “Come to Me”, the album’s centrepiece. Smith’s vocals are chopped up and layered with effects, an appropriate approach for this style of track due to its dance-like nature. The vocals are a pleasant change to what is essentially a heavily instrumental album and it allows the various guitar licks and synth parts to build around the main melody resulting in a wonderfully dark and twisted dance anthem.

The frantic pace is eventually slowed down on “Debutante”, which opens with some atmospheric Vangelis-esque synth pads. The track is then gradually lifted into another dimension where the stomping drums, repeated bassline, neat guitar textures and choir voices all contribute to a pinnacle of destruction that ends nicely with a faint synth, enabling a smooth transition to the euphoric album closer, “Tiger Girl”. This final track is how I wish club music would sound like; pounding beats mixed with elaborate arpeggiated synth patterns, thunderous guitars and lush synths that constantly build the track up towards an epic climax that stunningly finishes on a mass arrangement of distorted guitars. Their skill to perfectly blend aspects of IDM and post-rock is expertly demonstrated on these final two tracks and it is a perfect reminder of why this band is just so damn good at what they do.

Although there are still a lot of guitars and live drums used throughout this album, there are some moments when 65days move towards an entirely electronic direction here. However, if you are a fan of their more guitar laden material don’t let this put you off, as they have created a truly exceptional piece of work that sees the band finding new ways to push their exceptional sound to the limit. The production is also excellent as they manage to successfully balance numerous ideas into each track whilst maintaining precision and bite.

You can label “We Were Exploding Anyway” as electronic, post-rock, glitch, math-rock or whatever the hell you want, but the main thing is 65days have yet again proved that they can still create stunning and inventive material that reaches new levels whilst still maintaining the sonic edge of their earlier albums.

[rating:4.5]


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