When a band like 65daysofstatic release singles, it must take an age to decide exactly what to use. The band produce LPs that beg to be listened to in one sitting, the songs hold their context in an album's scope and to remove them from their surroundings can easily prove disastrous. Not so here.
'Radio Protector' is the closing track on the band's most recent long-player One Time for All Time and they've yet to produce a song that demands your attention in quite this way. Whilst previous single 'Retreat! Retreat!' showcased its respective album in incomprehensibly blistering fashion, 'Radio Protector' sets down a different manifesto from an altogether more diverse record.
What this single lacks in a discernible chorus, or indeed hook of sorts, it makes up for by being so incredibly enthralling that for five and a half minutes, all you can focus on is where the drifting piano will sway to next, where the pounding rhythmic energy will twist the track and how much more emotionally charged a single piece of instrumental music will actually become.
Of course, to justify folk splashing out on a single that the majority of fans will also own via the LP, there has to be a b-side. Being 65days, though, means never doing things by halves and for a band who so rarely disappoint, 'Asphalt & Trouble' will surprise.
Surprise, how? Well, from this particular perspective, the shock lies in one simple fact, 'Asphalt & Trouble' is one of the most inexplicably stupendous pieces of music I have ever heard. Disproportionately immense hits to a huge drum pulsate and break up the achingly perfect, wandering guitar melodies that run rife through the track. As the pace picks up and the glockenspiel looks out across the track like a pleased god, the distant glitchery and sheer scope of this song is played out in front of your eyes like the most heartbreaking theatre production of all time.
An Iggy Pop-doing-Death in Vegas style monologue rises above through 65days' insanely complex backdrop and adds more atmosphere where it was practically impossible to do so. Armageddon ensues and the guitars that fuelled your first tears for months are replaced by glee and wonderment at how a band can actually create these feelings on a piece of music.
As the last act plays out and the actors leave the stage, you are left with the sort of fulfilment that 65daysofstatic have promised for so long, yet always fell just a notch or two short of. I will lay my hat on the line and proclaim 'Asphalt & Trouble' as the most accomplished piece of work the band have ever produced and if it be a signifier of even better things to come, I'm only going to fall deeper in love.
10Colin Roberts's Score