The Destruction of Small Ideas
ometimes something comes along and shakes your head, takes you by surprise, delights you unexpectedly and reminds you why you were doing… this… in the first place. I have never put a CD in the player hoping to be disappointed, although these days I’m often expecting to be.
65daysofstatic’s first album, The Fall of Math, was good, but flawed. Their second, One Time for All Time, was even more flawed; like someone shouting into the wilderness to protest the city, it had good intentions but the wrong direction. Their third album, The Destruction of Small Ideas, blows their previous recorded output clean away. I gather that, distraught with an industry beset by Meatloaf’s mantra that everything be louder than everything else, they deliberately set out to make a quieter record, a more dynamic record, a record that stands out from its peers, that actually moves itself and you and, despite the lack of words, means something.
The Destruction of Small Ideas takes the bar for postrock, where postrock genuinely means what comes after rock is done with, and raises it considerably from where it has settled in the last few years. See that Battles record? This is as good, albeit coming from the opposite direction. Initial radar observations of 65daysofstatic three or four years ago suggested IDM with guitars; and perhaps they were. Now… no. Pianos, genuine, delicate, almost inaudible pianos; drums, roiling and pounding and snapping and rolling across your head; guitars, lachrymose or tectonic or nasty; spectres of electricity, hexadecimal algorithms taking binary data packages and translating them via networks into something organic and anthropomorphic. Making the robotic human where Battles make the human robotic. I’m not sure which is the best trick. Strings (horsehair on catgut, adhesive and vibrating), a ticking hard-drive, sheets of corrugated steel (flexed and resonated), Formula One cars downshifting into chicanes and over-steering left-handers, thunder, clammy tarmac at the height of summer.
The first five tracks will take you by surprise, “These Things You Can’t Unlearn” climaxing in proximity alarms and carbon dust. “Lyonesse”, following, has a parlor piano slowly eaten away from the outside by radioactivity, but the real surprise is that it gets better. “The Distant & Mechanised Glow of Eastern European Dance Parties” is an actual infusion of electronica rather than borrowed and misunderstood signifiers; “Music Is Music as Devices Are Kisses Is Everything” is as good as, improbably, its title, more subtle piano patterns, inhumanly real drums, soporific falls from momentum and rises back again. The last three songs? Better still.
65daysofstatic have made their masterpiece, or something close to it; three albums in, in the most dirty, shallow decade of music we’ve known, who else can say that? A handful, not enough. The Destruction of Small Ideas is a weight, a tower of babel, a journey, learnings, understandings, communication, evolution. I’ve been waiting. I was promised this or something like it. The rise and fall. All so deep, so rich, so comically dynamic and detailed and powerful for it that it makes me want to cry. How to make a record. Play loud.