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65DaysOfStatic - Stumble.Stop.Repeat. CD (album) cover

STUMBLE.STOP.REPEAT.

65DaysOfStatic

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.83 | 5 ratings

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TCat
4 stars For the band 65daysofstatic, this is the EP that started it all. At the time, the duo of Paul Wolinski and Joe Shrewsbury were working on doing remixes and mash-ups of famous pop artists like Justin Timberlanke and Christine Milian, but were also creating their own music. When Simon Wright and Rob Jones joining the band, they started to take things in a serious direction and began life as a post rock/math rock band. In 2003, they released this, their first recording, the EP entitled "Stumble.Stop.Repeat". There are reports that up to 1000 copies were issued, but apparently there is some argument regarding that as the EP is quite difficult to find. It is composed of 5 tracks and has a run time of 27 minutes.

This EP has the post rock attitude, but utilizes a lot of the electronics that the band was using at the time. They would veer away from this becoming more of a math rock on their first album, but they would also return to using more electronics later. Starting with "Play Nice Kids" (4:08), you can hear the interesting mix of math rock and electronica, and, quite frankly, it is a nice unique sound. It is this style that sets the band apart from most other post and math rock bands. The sound is glitchy, yet smart. The music can be quite quirky and has a nice degree of unpredictability to it. This sound continues with "Thrash Waltz" (4:43) which uses a basic 6 / 8 feeling, but then manipulates it so much that it is difficult to tell. A combination of electronics and post rock guitar creates a nice fuzzy sound that makes the usual clean sound of electronic sound almost like garage rock. It makes me wonder why we don't hear more of this sound in the post rock world as a bit of experimentalism like this never hurts anyone.

"AOD" (6:28) takes the quirkiness of the glitch rock down a few notches and ends up with a more laid back and mellow sound. The electronics are still there, but the addition of vibe-like keyboard sounds make this similar to a "Tortoise" track. It definitely utilizes the more sparse sound of the song to it's advantage, and fuzzy guitars stay on the softer side in the background, just to remind you that this is still the same band. A quick increase in intensity close to the 4 minute mark brings the guitars to the fore and a thicker wall of heavy sound comes in. This all eventually cools down as sounds of feedback complain at the unwillingness of the guitars to let go, but the electronics eventually win out and leave us with a soft ambient ending.

"DNL.mash-up" (4:29) starts with a repeating keyboard phrase that suddenly gets overpowered by tortured guitars and a slapping percussive effect. Halway through, a miasma of sounds swirl around in a noisy whirlwind of electronic effects, synths and guitar layers, and everything finishes off in an industrial style noise fest. "Ophelia.remix" (7:29) begins with thick layers of sound that is only penetrated by a synth loop. A sudden rapid fire percussion loop underlays a contrasting guitar melody which is chopped up and diced about to give an unpredictable and quirky sound. When most of the noise suddenly comes to a screeching halt trailing along feedback in it's wake, things become quite a bit softer for a while, only to later become glitchy again. Tonal percussion and fast beats contradict the slow and lumbering guitar noise wall that crescendos until it almost takes everything over again, only to be broken down once more.

One of the things I have enjoyed about 65daysofstatic is their willingness to take the tried and true formulas of post and math rock and completely grind it all up and spit it out in a completely new sound that is so unique to this band. Though I am not always a fan of the percussive effects used in much of the electronic music, they utilize it all in ways that make it all interesting and new. Though this band has now been around for quite a while, and has experimented with it's overall sound, this album foretells the direction the band would eventually wander off in. It's sometimes hard to tell if the music is more progressive electronic than it is math or post rock, but it definitely does combine elements of both to an extreme in this EP. If you can't find that rare physical copy, then you should at least listen to it digitally.

TCat | 4/5 |

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