With the Sheffield four-piece hitting Liverpool for the first time in several years, Getintothis sent along David Hall to find out if their new material stacked up to their classics.
Worriedaboutsatan made an impressive start to the night, with the Manchester two-piece set up to face each other across the stage, guitar one side being shredded through a fine electro gauze, and Forest Swords-like shattered DnB shards. Although both band members look like they’re dancing to entirely different tunes, it’s a weird, coiling, vaguely sexual ritual they shared onstage; dubby and soothing as well as giant and loud.
The vast, hovering rhythmless passages and spacey, super-delayed guitars of Napoleon IIIrd didn’t go down nearly as well, however. Tectonic, dissonant wodges of noise backed with the urgent parp of a saxophone and blunted, called vocals from the singer proved a little harder for the crowd to stomach. Strangely after a half-hour of directionless noise, Napoleon provided a rhythmic and urgent concluding couple of minutes to their set, like Godspeed at their blistering pinnacle. Not without fair reason, this went unappreciated at the Academy.
We made it 65 o’clock. The band made their way onstage to lay into opener Heat Death Infinity Splitter, it’s Fuck Buttons-esque pyroclastic flow of a synth line marching onward ominously over lolloping beats and glitching key stings joining the party later. The track burst into distorted life with the addition of crushing guitar chords, but proved merely a warm-up for what was to come. The twitchy, synopticated synth stings of Prisms followed, as did the thudding clamour of Sleepwalk City.
As guitarist/frontman Joe Shrewsbury made clear in an impassioned speech to the audience, that in an emotional week in the wake of the Hillsborough inquests, cities like Liverpool and the band’s hometown of Sheffield should look forward, rather than backward. So it proved with 65‘s set choices, with much of their back catalogue – indeed, whole albums – eschewed in favour of tracks from their two most recent records. Their 2013 album Wild Light got a heavy airing, Unmake the Wild Light‘s bass chasms sounding towering and getting the crowd moving.
65daysofstatic have been away for some time producing their latest work, a soundtrack for No Man’s Sky, the forthcoming immersive sci-fi videogame and spiritual successor to Elite. Shrewsbury told the Liverpool crowd that the process has been protracted by somebody’s bright idea of getting a lawyer involved, and even reckoned that playing their own No Man’s Sky songs is technically illegal.
Lawful or not, 65 nevertheless ripped into several new tracks from the forthcoming album. The rollicking, groovy Supermoon with its glass canyons of pristine piano chords and choral synths proved impressively danceable for a live debut. The heavy, stinging closer also sounds like a track we look forward to hearing more from when No Man’s Sky is released on June 7.
Seasoned fans were rewarded with a galloping, emotive take on Radio Protector near the end but 65dos spent most of their set, as promised, looking forward. Maybe their newer material lacks the primal, churning industrialism of The Fall of Math – which didn’t get a look-in at the Academy – but it certainly sounds like a crisp and arresting take on electro-spiked post-rock.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Martin Waters.