65daysofstatic are a hardworking band, continually reinventing and refining themselves with every new album. They didn’t find a sound to stick to, staying familiar and keeping the fans happy like so many others before them, and so many more to come. 65days are eternally searching for the one true sound, and will evolve and adapt until they get there.
Back in 2004 they released The Fall Of Math
, my first proper introduction to the world of post rock. It was a revelation, hearing such monumental sounds coming from a rock band. Over the years they’ve morphed into what is essentially an electro outfit, while still maintaining their instrumental roots. Albums full of conventional instruments digitally processed into oblivion; glitches and orchestration in perfect harmony.
And so we come to Wild Light, their sixth full length album and by far their most immersive.
Wild Light is not an easy album, you don’t put it on for the first time and pick up the hooks immediately, it’s a grower. This is an album that bears - nay - demands repeated listens. As with all 65days records, it’s instrumental; there are no catchy choruses to remember, no verse/chorus structures to cling to. Repeated listens not only cause you to remember certain parts, but also help to dig out new things, extra layers you hadn’t heard before. There is immersion here that I’ve not come across in an album for some time.
This is the most cinematic album 65days have yet released. Silent Running
was a crowd funded experiment that clearly had an influence over the band. Indeed, given their story that the name 65daysofstatic comes from an unreleased John Carpenter movie they formed to write the soundtrack to, Wild Light
seems like an obvious destination. 65days owe a debt to Vangelis, with his genre defining score to Blade Runner.
Deliberately evocative song titles help you to visualise each soundscape; 'Sleepwalk City' takes you through the seedy underbelly of a bloated city, centuries into the future. You can almost sense Deckard stalking replicants as you float along the dank, dark streets. ‘Taipei' takes you up higher, to where the better off live, where the sunlight is, and a future full of promise. ‘Taipei' takes you to the clouds, where you can soar. There’s a moment halfway through 'The Undertow' where everything coalesces into something beautiful; that plaintive guitar in perfect sync with the solid drums, driving you forward, towards the unknown.
'Unmake The Wild Light' is a masterpiece. There’s an unexpected, and somewhat out of place bass drop; a messy, nasty, satisfying sound, that disappears just as suddenly, giving way to the shimmering guitars that frame it. This in turn gives way to a tender, beautiful guitar piece that’s almost as delicate as glass, backed up by a simple, yet powerful piano. More guitars steadily build underneath, pushing a crescendo to a wavering, fading finale. It is post rock in it’s purest form.
Wild Light is an immensely satisfying album, but it needs to be given time to settle. There are layers here that you may not notice for the first 8, 9, 10 listens, but when you do something else clicks into place, and you’re even happier to have given it so much of your time. In a world where recorded music is considered worthless, and you only need hear an album once, Wild Light serves as a reminder that there is more to music than three minute pop singles and a catchy hook. This is music as art, and 65daysofstatic ought to feel rightly proud of it.