I took some time for myself, after two months of working abroad & studying, and I decided to invest that time in going to a concert, the 5th of November (peculiar date, by the way). Not the most original thing I could have done, but the concert in case is a 65daysofstatics show. What did I expect? I expected to arrive at a usual club for live gigs, full of weird people, dressed in the most various ways.
What did I get? I arrived in a small club in the outskirt of a famous Italian city, a kind of club in which “if you don’t have the right shade of jeans you are not allowed in” as one of our x-factor judges likes to tell about it. And it was actually like that, personally I didn’t think that such a place could exist, such a…uhm, let’s say alternative rock place.
But these are just folkloristic notes, let’s talk about what I really got.
65Daysofstatics are a band from Sheffield, England, which like to play with electronics. Guitars, bass, drum, keyboards are fused together with synths, mixers and computers to perform math rock. I don’t like this kind of label, but it is useful if you want to picture a quick idea of what their music is about. There are no words in their songs. Words are not needed. All you can do while listening to them is sit down, take a deep breath and just enjoy the fact that you are alone with their powerful way of mastering every instrument they are playing. Song such as Primer, Fix the Sky a Little will just create an oneiric atmosphere with their first keyboard notes, an atmosphere that will fall apart in just a few seconds, to burst into a breakdown of guitars and drums in points you woudn’t even expect.
Other songs as Crash Tactics or A Failsafe have a more linear structure, beginning and ending with heavy distortions, serried tempos from the drums and little use of synths and other electronics witchcrafts. Just “bare” instruments (and tons of electronics effects) to create songs without any lyrics, that are not boring, actually they will thrill you (at least they get me every time I play them) and will leave you a sense of “I want more” at the end of every album.
After this brief presentation you would expect them to be a band assembled by Garageband in the studio.
You’d expect them to be some kind of Apple nerds, shy and not that willing to play live, because of the tons of instrumentation they will need to carry around, but it’s not like that. It’s not even close.
The truth is they love playing live. And they can absolutely do that, regardless all the electronics they have to carry around. They are able to drown you completely into their tunes. A lot of times during the concert I just closed my eyes and forgot I was in the middle of a crowd, somewhere in the north of Italy. I was “alone” with them, on the stage, completely submerged by every single note, every single key they played. This gave me literally chills. I could feel and follow with my ears where the song was going, even if I didn’t know what was going to happen. I could have just imagined and anticipated it. It’s math rock, based on proportion, and I think we all have an innate sense of proportion in our mind, even if it there was more emotion -than proportion in their live performance.
That sounded as a very hippie attitude toward music, I know. But it was like that. Although their music is far from being easy and immediate as was hippie rock. Math rock is a very difficult subject. If you can actually read music you can recognize specific patterns in the tempos, in the harmonization structure and so, that are constructed mathematically. With that I’m not saying that you need a specific culture on this topic to enjoy their music, but you will need it to understand it completely.