Over the course of the past couple years, 65DaysOfStatic have built up sizeable fan bases in both the UK and Japan with their insanely-detailed instrumental post rock tracks, which fuse soaring guitar lines with almost drill and bass beat programming. Because of the latter, the group is hyper-technical, with songs that stop and start on a dime and play off insane dramatic shifts that would be nearly impossible for humans to play without the aid of machines. The Destruction Of Small Ideas is their third full length album, and it finds them moving in a similar direction as past releases, with a bit of a softer side thrown in for good measure.
"When We Were Younger And Better" opens the release, and it's just about what you'd expect from the group as crisp beats spray off rapid-fire around live drumming and a guitar part coils around an airy synth part before a piano bridge in the middle gives the listener a bit of a breather. "A Failsafe" is more of the same, with even more frantic beats and chugging guitars that give way to moments of introspective piano before melting down again.
The biggest problem that I have with the release is the same one I had with their last one. Although there are certainly some surprises here and there, there's absolute no room for deviation given the detailed backdrop of programming. In some ways, it's like the highly-advanced version of progressive music that a person could imagine, but the nearly relentless beats and razor-wire sharp guitars sound so robotic after awhile that it's hard to tune in and really feel much connection with the songs.
"Aha," you say! How is it possible that I can say the above about this release but still enjoy other obviously programmed and precise groups like Kraftwerk? Therein lies the rub. Like a lot of progressive rock and even math rock groups, 65DaysOfStatic mostly introduce melodies and elements, but rarely revisit them. They start in one place and most often zig and zag and zig again before arriving at a completely different one. As a listener, it's hard to find anything to grab onto along the way, and when the group does slow down for a bit, the overly sentimental piano bits come across like syrupy afterthoughts.
With twelve songs running an hour in length, The Destruction Of Small Ideas certainly has some places where it's enjoyable as heck (the dancy but slightly more gritty "Little Victories" is a great example), but it also tends to retread a lot of the same ground in that time. It's definitely something slightly new (although at times it does sound a bit like a vocal-less Mars Volta) and will sound like a revelation to some listeners, but I largely feel bludgeoned (and not in a good way) after hearing it.