, October 1st, 2013 05:52
Sheffield's 65daysofstatic are forever challenging themselves, tinkering with new ways to meld skyscraping electronic melodies with powerful rock instrumentation. After working on their last full-length, 2010's We Were Exploding Anyway, the band put out the Silent Running soundtrack, inspired by a live re-score they did for the 1972 sci-fi production in 2011. While We Were Exploding... explored 65's heavier roots, Silent Running demonstrated real progression and produced further evidence that this band are one of the most forward-thinking collectives in alternative music.
This progression came as direct result of the band constantly challenging themselves (and the fans) with their output. On their most prolific efforts, they've moved from post-rock (The Fall Of Math) to encompass more euphoric electronic sounds on We Were Exploding.
Wild Light feels aptly-titled, coming across as an exploration and expression of sonic freedom from start to finish. Here, it seems like 65dos are challenging themselves in a way that they are finally happy with, evoking the confidence of 'Exploding and matching that with the energy and intensity of The Fall of Math.
Speaking recently, Paul Wolinski said of their new album “We wanted to make it simpler without losing any of our urgency”. On the whole, it certainly strips things down a little more, to a point where it harks back in places to the raw, Aphex Twin-influenced moments of One Time For All Time. Wild Light heaps on those cutting electronic atmospherics from the off with 'Heat Death Infinity Splitter' (after the “no one knows what is happening...” introduction that echoes the opening moments from ...Fall of Math), and is far heavier than anything that's come from them before. 'Prisms' has a similar impact. The expected loud and fast 65 climax is pushed back in favour of a longer, more intricate structure.
The balance between acoustic and electronic music that was put on the back-burner for We Were Exploding Anyway is found here as ambient piano notes strike, working with faster dance parts and quality off-beat drumming. Meanwhile, 'The Undertow' is in a different league, piano melodies are at the forefront for a track that, compared to the rest of the album, feels rather soothing.
By contrast, 'Blackspots'' heaviness will appeal to established fans, with its intense and complex synth elements battling spiky guitars for a 'Crash Tactics'-style vibe. This great energy is continued into 'Sleepwalk City' with its unrelenting drums and industrial backbone. Follow up 'Taipei' is particularly noteworthy and sees the group at their most experimental as softer parts mix in with dreamy, shoegazing sounds.
'Unmake the Wild Light' is an unpredictable sensory assault, and final salvo 'Safe Passage' is similarly stunning, and for the 65dos hardcore will no doubt act, along with the rest of this album, as motivational music for their bleakest of days.