Review by Denis Semchenko
Photos credit Stephen Goodwin
‘Post-rock’ is a tired term – in fact, so tired it’s lost its meaning since the genre’s noughties heyday. This writer has long discovered that instrumental rock music doesn’t need to come with a ‘post-‘ or ‘math-‘ prefix attached to it in order to sound good; in the end, it either does or it doesn’t. It has now been 15 years since Explosions In The Sky first showed us how delicate instrumental rock can be and before that, Slint and Tortoise did the same for a mix of tricky time signatures and sparse guitar atmospherics.
On the more aggressive side of the spectrum, Sheffield’s 65daysofstatic have been making the crowds dance to instrumental ‘math-rock’ with mind-warping electronics and robotic beats since the start of the millennium. No strangers to the Antipodean shores (the current tour marking the tenth anniversary of debut LP The Fall of Math’s release), the multi-limbed ensemble are in a typically fiery mode tonight, attacking their guitars, drums, synths, sequencers, Kaoss pads and assorted effects setups en masse and generally incinerating the Ann St beer barn formerly known as the Mustang Bar.
Tonight’s gig is a rescheduled one: the night before, fire sprinklers inexplicably went off at The Hi-Fi, literally extinguishing the event – luckily, not before a powerhouse showcase by Perth soundscapers Tangled Thoughts Of Living. Unperturbed by this force majeure, bandleader Paul Wolinski is in great spirits, keeping the faithful amused with stabs of light-hearted humour during between-song pauses.
The set, while heavy on the tracks from the latest LP Wild Light, leaves plenty of room for old fan favourites like Piano Fights and Retreat! Retreat! The absence of a grinding Weak4 – perhaps the band’s loudest moment – is a minor setback, yet all is forgiven when the lads get back onstage and encore with AOD, a track from the out-of-print early EP Stumble. Stop. Repeat. ‘Post-rock’ or otherwise, this undulating, subtly melodic number is one of the best things 65days have ever come up with, gaining a whole new dimension live. Their music has gone through changes over the years, but 65daysofstatic are still exploding anyway.