65daysofstatic: We Were Exploding Anyway

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Aidan Williamson

26th April 2010
At 12:54 GMT

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"Okay people. Before this next song, I want to open this mosh-pit the hell up. I wanna see a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon down the middle of you all. So, pick a side, and let's open this up. When the next song starts, I wanna see some chaos."

It turns out, there are many fun ways to divide your fans. Several courses of action which can play merry-hopscotch on the thin line between love and hate in the minds of your fans. Progression has always been the primary catalyst for such segregation. While 65daysofstatic have never lived up to the 'static' of their moniker when it came to their music, We Were Exploding Anyway might be a step too far.

In terms of track quantities, it an even split between new noise and the old guard, but re-calculate the score with duration as the factor and the graph starts to skew distinctly in the direction of the former of the two categorisations.

A good point to address now would be the question of 'to which progression have we been referring these last few paragraphs?'. What has changed? To the agnostic observer, probably not much: there are still elements of post-rock, break-beat and a myriad of other obscure genres thrown into the arena. Switch to a higher magnification and the details begin to emerge, and the songs begin to pick their sides.

Continuing the band's penchant for roping in legends of the music scene for their vocal talents, "Come To Me" features a guest performance from none other than Robert Smith of The Cure. Not content with helping to rid a small American town of a mechanised incarnation of Barbara Streisand, Robert Smith is also our saviour here. With his heavily augmented vocal loops anchoring the eight-minute track it skews things in a direction not dissimilar to Bloc Party.

Elsewhere, the likes of "Tiger Girl", "Dance Dance Dance", "Go Complex" and "Débutante" follow a less glitchy road. Instead of their familiar ADHD-addled brilliance, we're treated to more carefully crafted fare. "Débutante" amazes with its restrained crescendos which never lead to climax, instead anchoring in a flurry of intensity before letting it slowly dissipate. Similarly, finale "Tiger Girl" tips the durational bar with a ten-minute offering. There's no massive change in pace here - stepping in line with the latter half of the album's penchant for thoughtful experimentation - yet it does possess the kind of mid-section designed to part dust-strewn skies and beckon forth the sunlight the quell the encroaching darkness: which roughly translates to it being a pretty damn good finish to the album.

"Crash Tactics" is the requisite ambassador for the album though. It adheres to the classic formula of breathless bionic drum beats, tension-building guitar riffs and an ability to uproot the foundation of the song at will, in the name of their classic "build and break" style. One Angelic breakdown later it's gone down in our books as a song with almost the grandiosity of "Radio Protector".

The variety of material is almost guaranteed to upset some, but a fifty-minute album relying on one trick was never going to make waves. Welcome, then, to the tsunami.

Rating:  9 / 10

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