Sound: Before buying a 65daysofstatic album, it probably won't be news to you that they're classed as 'post-rock'. Google it if you don't know the definition, but one of the major aspects of this genre is the dreamy, melodic intertwining of instruments to create emotions not felt by the instrumental sections of most other genres. The main pioneers of the genre (Mogwai, God Is An Astronaut, Explosions In The Sky) are great, but those who have neglected the genre as 'boring', 'slow' or 'lacking structure' are in for a treat (I'm not one of them, in my defence). 65daysofstatic's new album welcomes brilliant drumming, overdriven guitars and at times dramatic keyboard (with violin, clarinet and 'an extra snare' contributed from other artists), whilst definitely not forgetting their electronic and math rock roots of The Fall of Math and One Time for All Time. // 10
Lyrics: Another thing to point out is that 65daysofstatic are an instrumental band. That is, none of their members sing, and that is still true. The closer track, The Conspiracy of Seeds, does not take exception to that but welcomes guest vocalists of screamo/hardcore band 'Circle Takes the Square' in a dramatic, awesome in the correct sense finish. The album, and particularly this track, build up such intensity, making vocals fit brilliantly. There's always a flaw that gets in/There's always a crack/.../The first to arrive and the last to confess/.../And we get off the road and off the record/When we spit out the names of those we've betrayed. The last line, well, just listen anyway. If you're scared that it might sound like Circle Takes the Square's songs (should you happen to dislike them), don't worry, it's very different.
01. When We Were Younger And Better - a distant electronic beat supports fast-tempo piano arpeggios for a few seconds before letting go to loud overdriven guitars and drums in 5/4 timing, before guitars turn staccato with the same intense drumming. The arpeggios are welcomed back with a guitar riff flowing smoothly over them, then bringing back combinations of piano and overdriven guitar melodies. The introduction of violin appears over a bass breakdown before welcoming 'tribal' drums, then some of the most climactic piano on the album. The sound builds and breaks and builds from here, finishing with piano. This intro song sums up the album in many ways.
02. A Failsafe - electronic effects supporting guitar remind you of 65dos's older outings. A neat electronic/drum based riff fades out suddenly to deep piano which turns after a cymbal rush into a rather dramatic melody. Piano, drum and electronically dominated song that resonates math, especially from the drum breakdown.
03. Don't Go Down To Sorrow - one of the singles released, this is probably the most accessible song on the album. A soft piano melody introduces the song, building up and breaking down supported by various instruments, until everything drops but the piano and drumbeat for a paced buildup. Guitar takes over finally, with one of the album-signature bending staccato riffs. Electronic drums close to pave the way for Wax Futures.
04. Wax Futures - confusingly timed ambient chords with martial drumming remind of previous post-rock artists, and paints a picture of a desolate, windswept scene (perhaps 'actual' as referred to in the middle of the inlet). 'Escape' occurs when guitar mixes with an intensely overdriven mould and dies out again to 'actual' (reality). Digitonal pay contribution with effects-laden clarinet over the top. Soon after the stop-start style of math rock appears.
05. These Things You Can't Unlearn - downbeat electronic drums begin the song and violin and jazz-tone guitar enter over the top. Increase the volume again as overdriven guitar arrives. Guitar and violin softly compliment each other, everything builds and then drops again. High-tempo drumming and a heavier melody are added. Towards the end of this song gives reason to the quote in the inlet It speaks volumes, so turn it up.
06. Lyonesse - this is essentially a piano arpeggio solo, with guitar ambient effect and supportive bass building over the top, not dissimilar from some of Mogwai's early albums. In my opinion a weaker song, most likely intended as an interlude. However, the electronic effects and apocalyptic crashing drums compliment it superbly, and listening to the album without it would simply not work.
07. Music Is Music As Devices Are The Kisses Of Everything - piano re-enters as if to continue from Lyonesse, and drums and bending riffs enter and die a few times to great effect. Multiple violins build the song towards the middle again, before dying out. This entry and re-entry of melodies follows the concept described about this song in the inlet: But! Music is music as devices are kisses is everything and I can squeeze your hand 3 times because I know it will come back to me these notes will never be wasted.
08. The Distant And Mechanised Glow Of Eastern European Dance Parties - electronic music and heavy, driving, math-influenced rock captured in one song for me, with possibly the most interesting and suitable title on the album. The electronic keyboard riffs intertwining climax at an electronic drumbeat that slowly warps and changes to become the dance-influenced into to 'Little Victories'.
09. Little Victories - simple chords that go up and down (to be technical) enter over the drumbeat from track 8, before a multi-guitar section reminds me a little of 'I Swallowed Hard, Like I Understood'. This song feels like a very jolly point on the album, in no small part complimented by the high overdriven guitar riff that cuts out in true 65dos style. Guitar builds up over crashing cymbals to the multi-guitar section of earlier. There's possibly too much happening in this section (I'm saying that not in a nave way), but definitely a great track.
10. Primer - tranquil guitars blend into one another assisted by drums which drop out. Piano then enters and is overtaken by a very unorthodox synthetic riff over crashing drums. Guitar crashing in leads way for the drumming of, what I'm not quite sure. Overdriven guitar gives another signature riff over electronically-assisted drumming, which all builds up for a dramatic climax. One interesting aspect of the outro to this song is the way the time signature changes while the riff remains very similar, cycling through 5/8, 4/8 and finally 3/8.
11. White Peak/Dark Peak - possibly the most impressive piano on the album, supplemented by distant clarinet as the piano rises up the octaves. Heavily distorted guitar lets the piano play a descending riff, while the guitar creates an intense atmosphere. This might be a white peak if you're at all into Mogwai's distortion exploration, such as 'Like Herod'. This song I feel should go on longer, however.
12. The Conspiracy Of Seeds - by popular opinion, this seems to be the highlight of the album. Innovative use of edited samples sound like someone trying to speak through the ever-changing music, which delves into every aspect of 65dos's past and present. When CTTS's screamer finally breaks through assisted by the male and female clean vocals, it's almost a relief, as the atmosphere is so tight beforehand. As I said before, the last sung line is brilliance, Circle Takes The Square shine new light on 65dos's music here, and I only have compliments for it. // 10
Overall Impression: It's difficult to pin down individual tracks which I prefer. I feel the album should be listened to more as an album, as with any 65dos release, starting from track 1 and finishing on track 12 (and hopefully wishing there were a track 13, 14, 15). If you loved the samples on the previous albums or the demos of this released onto the internet earlier, you're going to be disappointed, as they're gone apart from the possible exception of the last track. The Destruction of Small Ideas can be a highly political album if you want it to be (reading through the CD inlet the album becomes a great concept). Small ideas won't die out but conceptually this feels like acceptance that they're unlikely to affect much of the bigger picture. On the other hand, listening to the album as a piece of musical art, 65daysofstatic have rediscovered piano, overdriven guitar, willing collaborative artists and drumming to create an album that equals 'One Time For All Time' and 'The Fall Of Math'. It's different, certainly, from their other albums, and as always from their musical companions, and worth a lot of listens if you enjoyed the direction they were heading in on 'One Time For All Time'. If not, I doubt you liked 'One Time For All Time' either. My only personal criticism is that it's missing an extremely alternative song, such as 'Another Code Against The Gone' from 'The Fall Of Math'. On the other hand, I very much doubt that'd make it a better album. What 65dos have done here is only included what they need in any song or section, only once would I say sound is overloaded and only once I sense something lacking. Unwritten law says that you have to take the last suggestion line If it were stolen/lost, would you quite literally. If it were stolen or lost, I would hit the thief for stealing the artwork and words etched inside, buy another copy, then ask him/her in a week or so if they enjoyed it or not. // 9