One Time For All Time
ow the hell am I supposed to write about post-rock in 2005? Eleven years after Hex, nine after Young Team and Millions Now Living… Well people are still writing about post-punk 25 years on so maybe it’s worth a shot.
Two records came out last year that killed post-rock—Hope Of The States’ The Lost Riots and Bark Psychosis’ ///Codename: Dustsucker. The former finally destroyed the notion that post-rock was some kind of experimental hinterland for the advancement of rock, for what happens after rock, by being a post-grunge rock record with a violin, a couple of instrumentals, a dreadful singer and some dark imagery; it totally eschewed the idea of adopting ideas from other genres, from dance, jazz and ambient, from classical, from hip hop or drum’n’bass. The latter then pretty much took the notion that it was that hinterland to it’s logical aesthetic endpoint—you can’t go much further than “Dr Innocuous,” 2,000 edits in 90 seconds or something ludicrous like that, before you have to turn around and make a pop record again, bring the ideas and sounds back into a more mainstream context and advance things. This is why IDM is dead, people—pop musicians are now using those ideas and sounds, only they have hooks and choruses and people can dance to it. Hell, maybe that’s what Hope Of The States were trying to do, but they got it arse-over-tit. Cos, you know, Broken Social Scene do that much, much better.
People say 65daysofstatic sound like Mogwai with a bit of Squarepusher, or Slint played at 78rpm remixed by Aphex Twin, or Godspeed! mixed with M83, or any other number of “insightful” muso.crit.com comparisons. And yeah, they do, insofar as anything sounds like anything else “on drugs,” but it’s a reductive method of description. What 65daysofstatic actually sound like is three men making a fast, wordless, angry and occasionally redemptive noise, part guitar, part drum(machine)s, part piano, part scree, part fuck-knows-what. They’ve built up a ferocious live reputation, adding a live drummer who propels them way beyond expectations of “three guys with laptops playing solitaire,” and turning them into a seriously fucking heavy ROCK proposition.
Anyway, I digress. One Time For All Time is 65daysofstatic’s second album in quick succession, The Fall Of Math having only come out at the tail-end of 2004. It has “song” titles (except they’re not songs cos dictionary.com tells me songs are brief compositions written or adapted for singing and 65daysofstatic don’t sing) like “65 Doesn’t Understand You” and “Mean Low Water” and it is, to all intents and purposes, exactly what you would imagine from the phrase “fast, heavy instrumental rock with techno beats and occasional piano.” It’s shorter, rockier, and nastier than its predecessor, but, to my ears, just as likely to blur into a mess. “Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here” and “Radio Protector” stand out because both use a different dynamic to the otherwise typical approach of ATTACK!ATTACK!ATTACK, the former building from abstracted tempos to something approaching “funky,” and the latter making use of space and sparse piano to build something beautiful. And that’s it.