65daysofstatic – the name still shrouded in inspirational ambiguity, the band still one of the most arresting live acts on the circuit – arrive at album four reborn. Following years of incessant touring, and three albums in as many years, a break in momentum has given them the breathing space necessary to revaluate their artistry, to focus on fresh ambitions and reach for them. From the underground, over; out of the basements and into the light: this is the Sheffield quartet as you’ve never heard them before.
The four – Joe Shrewsbury, Paul Wolinski, Rob Jones and Simon Wright – scored an unlikely hit in 2004 with their debut album, The Fall Of Math. A critical success, it launched the band into a new league of recognition; here, they would hone their sound, transforming from studio operatives crafting rave music for rockers into a rock band impossible not to rave to. Live, they excelled. Audiences swelled. Album two, 2005’s One Time For All Time, furthered their already enviable reputation. Audiences got larger still. In 2007 they released The Destruction Of Small Ideas – album three was supported not only by domestic treks up motorways and down A roads, but also by worldwide touring alongside The Cure. The ante had been upped. Those audiences’¦
Those audiences damn well exploded.
But then, silence. A pause. Stasis for the -static. Rediscovery of music that passed them by before – Daft Punk, house music, hedonism over IDM headaches – and a prolonged period of writing where new ideas could exert substantial pressure on the old. September 2008 signalled the beginning of the end for 65days as they were – where interviewers would ask after the pros and cons of being pigeonholed a post-rock band – and the dawn of something wholly unexpected, against type and beyond bold. Audacious, disregarding of former glories, We Were Exploding Anyway is 65days anew. This is not a rock band with a bit of glitch on the side, all guitars with the slightest semblance of high-BPM beat-craft as underlay; it’s a not-so-distant dance party, the purest euphoria as earworms that dig deep and nestle tight. It’s an arms-aloft salute to the thrill of letting yourself go in the tide, and riding that rush -til it leaves you breathless but so prepared to go around again.
This is lean, sleek, polished. Arrangements are taut, economical, with not a beat wasted. It’s peaks upon peaks -til all that’s left is a drop so massive that to dive is to confront certain destruction. But to step off is too exciting to deny: the fall an embrace to last a lifetime, the wind on your face the perfect kiss.
‘We’re ready to go.’ Follow their lead, again, and 65days will now take you where you never imagined they could. We Were Exploding Anyway is a game-changer from a band that has only ever followed its own rules, and now they’re broken. Don’t pick up the pieces. Leave them. Dance over them. This time, and for all time, and those audiences’¦
Those audiences were exploding anyway.