Friday, 9 December 2011

65daysofstatic - Silent Running

Might as well post something before the list. Here's a review I wrote a while ago.

I love 65daysofstatic. They were my introduction to post-rock and made me discover other great post-rock bands. One Time for All Time is still one of the greatest albums ever, in my opinion. But enough with the past, let's talk about the present. Many good folks seem to be upset about the path the band has been taking, going away from their traditional mathy post-rock and experimenting with different sounds. But the thing, that's what usually happens with bands. You can't always expect them to stick to one particular sound. Sooner or later, they will get bored and start experimenting. That's what they did with We Were Exploding Anyway, but the result wasn't that satisfactory, even for me. And now, we have Silent Running.

This album is basically a soundtrack turned into an album due to popular demand. It really does sound like a soundtrack at times, but that is kind of expected. Some tracks start with an idea but don't really go anywhere with and just kind of end. Soundtracks don't need to be like that. It's a little disappointing too because they seemed like interesting ideas and could have been amazing if they followed up on them. Rantaloupe is a perfect example. There's a great build up near the end but then it just ends. Space Theme and The Announcement also suffers from Sudden Ending Syndrome. On a completely different note, Finale is a very weird song. It starts out as normal like any other track on this album as suddenly turns into a dance-like beat. It just felt, well, weird. It's the only way I can describe it. It was sort of an anti-climactic ending.

Enough with the qualms, it's making me look like I didn't like the album, because I did. I really liked the electronic noises and effects. I thought they set up a really great spacey mood. It really felt like they were going for atmosphere more than anything. The Scattered Disk was definitely the most ambitious track, electronically, with glitches and IDM-esque sounds in the intro of the track. I generally thought the instrumentation was great through out the album. The piano I think is a really great instrument for space themed songs and it works really well on this album. Burial Scene is a great piano-oriented track. Although some tracks did seem to stick to one idea without really following it, quite a few of them did and built up into something magnificent.

This album certainly is a step up from We Were Exploding Anyway in my eyes, but doesn't really compare to The Fall of Math or One Time for All Time. It features solid instrumentation while still experimenting with new sounds. Those who enjoy the more mathy side of 65DoS may not like this that much. It certainly was an ambitious project for the band and I'm looking forward to what they bring to the table with whatever their new project will be. Standout tracks for me are Safe Distancing (for the great build up and evolving ideas) and Burial Scene (for the wonderful mood it sets up with the piano). The more disappointing tracks to me are Finale and Space Theme.

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