Review Summary: With two official releases, and a hefty overhaul in their sound, 65daysofstatic has been the post-rock band to talk about in 2010.
What started with humble beginnings as a three piece out of Sheffield, England, has grown into one of post-rock’s most consistently intriguing acts. Sure, 65daysofstatic do not have the same mass appeal as many other acts in the genre, but the band has been picking up speed ever since their debut The Fall of Math
in 2004. The band has always been able to keep listeners on their toes, as every release has seen a slight alteration of the their sound, for better or for worse. This was very much apparent on their effort earlier this year, We Were Exploding Anyway
. Featuring oppressive electronics and dance beats, the album marked a drastic shift in the band’s sound, and with their latest EP Heavy Sky
, that sound is clearly here to stay.
Shedding their math rock influences, and buffering their post rock aesthetics, the band has evolved into something very different, and yet they feel completely at home. It’s truly a delight to hear a band being so comfortable with experimentation, as Heavy Sky
is a very tight and self assured affair. Completely unafraid to break their genre constrictions, 65dos has made 2010 their stage, showcasing their bold yet refreshing alteration. Like its predecessor We Were Exploding Anyway
, Heavy Sky
features a much more electronic side of the band. It’s an incredibly meaty experience, consisting of seven songs with a run time of nearly thirty minutes. There is quite a bit of content for a mere extended play, with much of said content being of very high quality.
For anyone following 65dos, this change in style should come as no surprise. After all, the band has been dabbling in electronic experimentation for years now. And while Heavy Sky
is not a complete return to the days of old, certain selections seem to have a more toned down vibe. Featuring less dance beats, the latter half delivers a more classic post-rock sound. Tracks such as “Pacify” and “PX3” feature fleshed out piano and guitar, relying less on the beats and glitches. Both tracks are quite beautiful, and the sound is a great stylistic melding of traditional post-rock and upbeat electronica. Truth be told, they do not really mesh with the rest of the album, as the stylistic difference is rather jarring. Regardless, this does not prevent “PX3” from being one of the EP’s finest tracks.
While the previously mentioned selections differ in execution, tracks like “Tiger Girl” feature quick tempos, infectious beats, and an insurmountable amount of personality and character. There’s been a lot of contention with this new direction, but “Tiger Girl” is incredibly refreshing, and there is little else like it in the genre, making it a very worthwhile listen. The more rock aspects underlie the dense techno soundscape, with the rich atmosphere bolstering the digital aesthetics, making the track a perfect opener to the EP. The following tracks, “Sawtooth Rising” and “The Wrong Shape” each have their own respective style, but are in the same vein as the opening track. Very stylistic in their execution, and catchy as hell, the songs are impossible to not tap one’s foot to. Yet it is “Guitar Cascades” that offers the EP’s most peculiar track. At ten minutes in length, it is the longest song on Heavy Sky
. It’s oddly ambient, utilizing much more static and glitches than any of the preceding songs, but somehow it feels very organic. In many ways, it's slightly reminiscent of their sophomore effort, One Time For All Time
. The song is structured much like a standard post rock track, with the rise and fall, and a nicely placed climax. However, the electronic influences make it a very interesting listen, and a great way to close things out.
While it is a very successful EP, it is not without it's faults. Aside from a wealth of new material,Heavy Sky
literally offers nothing new. This doesn't offer a taste of what is to come, and it doesn't bridge a gap between releases, but rather, it merely sounds like left over material from We Were Exploding Anyway
. No interesting concept and no radical experimentation make this EP a simple collection of songs. While the songs contained are rather great, this does not prevent most of Heavy Sky
from sounding like a collection of B-sides.
Although fans seem to be split, 65daysofstatic have clearly hit their stride, which is made very apparent with Heavy Sky
. This will not sway the detractors who found We Were Exploding Anyway
to be vapid or gimmicky, but it’s clear that the band doesn’t care. And why should they? Heavy Sky
is the sound of an inspired band loving what they do, and it is all the better because of it.