65daysofstatic have, for many years, been one of the loudest, most forward thinking bands the U.K has to offer. New album Wild Light is an indisputably smart record, one that shows a band at the height of their creative prowess. 65 have always impressed with their live show, and last night’s gig at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms was no different.
Beginning with slow burning album opener ‘Heat Death Infinity Splitter’, it’s clear from the offset what the tone of the night will be, with decibels at an ear shattering level, not that that’s a bad thing. ‘Prisms’ swiftly follows and, more than anything, displays the maturity that 65daysofstatic seem to have found of late. Both of these opening tracks, whilst loud and meticulously crafted, don’t race along at the eye watering tempo as some of the band’s previous work. Restraint is shown here in abundance, especially in ‘Prisms’ which, rather than head full pelt to shattering crescendos or breakdowns, the band simply build and build, creating walls of noise that engross at the same time as blow the audience away.
A trio of songs from 2010’s superb We Were Exploding Anyway followed. ‘Crash Tactics’, as anthemic as ever, garnered the first mad reaction of the night, with some flailing elbows and a few dropped mobile phones. The madness didn’t abate as the band launched themselves head first into ‘Dance Dance Dance’, one of the most bruising and frankly incredible tracks in their back catalogue. The first three minutes build relentlessly, with an almost tribal drum pattern (three of the the four members are on drums here) that completely riles an audience who, hopefully, are aware of what comes next. As the drums make way, a synth hook makes an appearance, building and building, until guitars are picked up again and well, absolute pandemonium ensues. ‘Piano Fights’ then restores a little bit of order, with its rousing chorus enough to wake any casual listeners who remain in the audience and thought they could get away with not really paying attention.
More Wild Light followed and it fits in seamlessly with the rest of the material on show tonight. ‘Sleepwalk City’ sounds just as atmospheric as it is on record, with drummer Rob Jones taking a break from his kit to lay down the necessary electronic percussion. The band’s willingness to experiment is constantly reinforced, as all four members play at least more than one instrument over the course of the 75 minute set. ‘Taipei’, a Wild Light standout, sounds absolutely enormous. There’s a melancholic edge to the track, courtesy of the piano-led opening section, but the sheer weight of the noise that follows is otherworldly, like Sigur Ros on steroids. It’s one of those pieces that simply defies any logical explanation or review, at least through words anyway. After a riotous run through of fan favourites ‘Retreat! Retreat!’ and ‘Radio Protector’, 65 aptly close their set with ‘Safe Passage’, the final track of the new album, what a track. More melancholic piano draws the largely unsuspecting audience in, before a gargantuan synth erupts from nowhere. From then on it’s full speed ahead, restraint no longer important, as 65daysofstatic hurtle towards a climax that defies explanation. More and more layers form, each adding to the battering ram that is the noise emanating from the speakers.
As with their music, words aren’t necessary when making a point about 65daysofstatic. The only way to appreciate what they do is to listen and see for yourselves. They’re not everyone’s cup of tea but perhaps that’s the point. They’ve reached a point in their career where they don’t have to prove themselves and they are all the better for it. 65daysofstatic are one of the best live acts in the country, but they’re not going to shout about it, so get a ticket and see for yourselves.
Best: The entirety of ‘Taipei’, worth the ticket price alone.
Worst: There’s no room for ‘Tiger Girl’ in the set anymore.
Heat Death Infinity Splitter
Dance Dance Dance
Fix The Sky A Little