EPs are interesting specimens. They’re not necessarily money spinners or promotional material for an album, they can sometimes be a creative letting off of steam, a concept an album is too grand a format for, or they can be a way of putting out a shit load of remixes you paid for but never found space in your b-sides. Whatever the case, post-rockers turned, I suppose, glitch-rockers 65daysoftstatic probably don’t fall into any of those categories, considering they don’t make a lot of money from their records, don’t do a whole lot of promotion for their albums and will always find a place for the remixes their work seems to magnetise.
‘Heavy Sky’ does server as a sort of single for a stand-out song from their fourth album, ‘We Were Exploding Anyway’, albeit in an edited form. That song being ‘Tiger Girl’, originally a ten minute closer turned three and a half minute pop single if you want. The original was a slow building part techno, part shoegaze, part classic 65 magnum opus. The new one is, to draw an awful sexual analogy, like if you took ten minutes of sex and condensed it to three and a half. All climax and no thrust. It loses a lot of its tension, but it’s still a very good song.
And what of the rest of this EP? ‘Sawtooth Rising’ is a trance thing that sounds disturbingly like the ‘chillout’ section of all that Wigan Pier shit, except with some guitars. ‘The Wrong Shape’ is a cool techno song with a trademark 65 climax and an interesting conclusion, which actually reminds me a bit of that one Darude song. ‘Pacify’ is a big piano ballad that is sonically more reminiscent of ‘The Destruction Of Small Ideas’ than ‘We Were Exploding Anyway’, with a bass drum that makes this feel way more midtempo than nearly all other 65daysofstatic songs. ‘PX3’ is interesting in that it has all the hallmarks of the band’s usual stuff but has this weird quality that makes it feel like a more aggressive Sigur Ros song. ‘Helix Beats’, though short, is an awesome drum ‘n’ bass workout with some dubstep in there too, with what sounds like a live drum kit being either sped up or played by a man with perhaps one million arms.
Closer, ‘Guitar Cascades’ is slow to start, a little difficult to get into, but worthy of a new paragraph in its greatness. It starts with a noisy (presumably guitar) wash of sound, before bringing in some synths, some catchy drums, some arpeggiated guitars deep in the mix and other such wonderful things. It is in fact like guitars cascading. There’s piano too, it’s usage of comedowns and subsequent coming ups make it one of the most engaging listens in the 65daysofstatic catalogue, and a worthy new contender to add to their stack of excellent closers.
‘Heavy Sky’, barring its final track, in all honesty doesn’t hold a whole lot of replay value. The songs are good at the time, but not especially essential listening for non-fans. There is a reason these were on the cutting room floor of the ‘We Were Exploding Anyway’ sessions. A lack of replay value is criteria for downgrading in the book of many critics, but me being a very conventionally loose one at best, I feel completely fine with calling ‘Heavy Sky’ a good, even fantastic, if not superb listen.
Written by Paul Smith