65 Days Of Static - Heavy Sky EP - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

65 Days Of Static - Heavy Sky EP

by Priscilla Eyles Rating:2 Release Date:2010-10-25

I'd heard a lot about 65 Days Of Static and their status as one of John Peel's favourite bands so it was with great expectations that I listened to Heavy Sky. But I'm afraid this EP didn't convert me to them in any way. Instead I found it unimaginative, formulaic and - dare I say it? -boring.

Many of the songs ('Tiger Girl (Wishful Thinking Edit)', 'The Wrong Shape', 'Guitar Cascades') feature annoyingly repetitive and monotonous pounding beats, and add layers of frenzied and heavily reverbed/delayed guitars which sound like they're trying hard to be anthemic while sounding tired. While the electronic, post-rock, elements of the songs at best sound like Oribital or 808 State on bad form and at worst like cheesy euro-dance from the 90s.

'Tiger Girl', for example, features programming that sound like someone's first drunken attempts on a cheap sampler ('it sounded good at the time!'). And if that doesn't annoy you, the revving sounds towards the end surely will (a sound that is repeated in the aimless 'Guitar Cascades') While 'Sawtooth Rising' has gimmicky female breathing sounds and a synth line that sound like someone's swallowed the instrument and is now wheezing through it, although that song does at least use a more interesting percussive arrangement (albeit partly ruined by the extra cliched synthesised drum build-up towards the end).

In the moments where there is just guitar they seem to fare better in creating an atmosphere, as in the menacing outro to 'Sawtooth...' But that only makes me want to listen to bands such as Mogwai who do that kind of thing better for a longer period of time.

It's not all bad; 'Pacify' does manage to be more subtle in it's approach with its ghostly guitar harmonics and Tubular Bells-like melody (this subtlety is quickly ruined by the sentimental sounding 'PX3', which sounds like something they'd use in a party political broadcast to inspire the masses). Meanwhile, the most interesting and ravey track 'Beats Like a Helix', sounds like Squarepusher meeting Aphex Twin and uses a great frenetic Baba O'Riley style programmed melody.

I've heard that 65 Days are better experienced live; I'd hope that's the case on the strength of this EP.


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