65DAYSOFSTATIC/TANGLED THOUGHTS OF LEAVING
Friday, January 5, The Bakery
REVIEW: HARVEY RAE
While the dance/electronic direction of 65daysofstatic's most recent - and in this writer's opinion, best - studio album We Were Exploding Anyway may have left some post-rock purists shaking their heads, there was a genuine buzz in the air for the Sheffield, UK band's first trip to Perth after more than 10 years together.
The night lived up to its billing. And a couple of impressive support acts helped make it a success, too. In particular, Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving, in the warm-up spot before 65DOS, showed why they deserve to be thought of alongside the likes of Tame Impala as one of Perth's premier exports.
Keyboardist Ron Pollard is the band's de facto front man, and his enthusiasm at times mirrors Australia's most famous post-rocker, Warren Ellis.
Across a slew of 10-minute instrumental epics - culminating in a massive Deep Rivers Run Quiet - synths squalled, rhythms locked and pounded, bass distorted and lead pianos and guitars ensured things stayed melodic all the while. Heavy stuff.
My first thought on seeing 65DOS hit the stage was, "where's the beards?" In a room full of punters and support acts sporting generous facial hair, this was a clean-cut four piece.
But while their look may have been slightly at odds with the music, the positive force of the music itself did the talking plenty. Drove Through Ghosts To Get here provided a swelling intro, and made way for the excellent Piano Fights, one of We Were Exploding Anyway's best tracks, and from there that album dominated.
The combination of backing tracks and live instrumentation made for a complex live sound - and occasionally it was hard to keep up as our bodies thrashed around to the madness.
Like the Whirling Dervishes however, sometimes the best way to find peace was at the centre of the storm, and standing still and admiring the intensity was as powerful as losing yourself in the moment.
Two songs in particular stood as highlights. Mountainhead, We Were Expoding Anyway's propulsive opening track, was incredible live. And the ever-popular Radio Protector near the end brought fans new and old together for a celebratory crescendo.The all too brief encore may not have brought with it Tiger Girl, the techno-rock hybrid that best illustrates the band's embrace of dance music and usually closes their set, but by then enough had been said. We Were Exploding Anyway. Yes we were.