The Brighton-based electronica band are at it again! StatiCity, their third album, is hitting the charts less than a year after their EP 3003 ETC subtly caressed our ears. This album certainly lives up to expectations, with a mix of worldly influences and a dash of driving guitar rhythms. Tracks such as A Secret Order, Be Whole and Your Garden of Deceit are just some of the creative works that highlight the band’s creativity and spunk.
The introductory piece, Alpha, was a great choice to open the album. Although the synth strings were very obviously computerised, the chord progressions and clunky piano made for a majestic beginning. A Secret Order had some very eighties-style synth sounds and a low, dirty-sounding guitar groove which immediately puts you in the mind set of a member from a secret society. Contrastingly, the next track created one of those classic Phil Spector Walls of Sound, and changed up the rhythm in what would have been an otherwise repetitive song.
Lyrically, the best song on the StatiCity is Always Us. With that level thought-provoking poetry in all their songs, hey would definitely be a force to be reckoned with. Every Corridor had a very interesting interlude in the middle, my only criticism was the computer-generated brass sounds. Although it’s pretty difficult to hire a brass section, it would have sounded absolutely amazing if it had been played ‘live’.
Be Whole was a personal favourite of mine. To be honest it made me feel like I was the lead character of a movie and there was this background music that was narrating my life. If anything, this band could have a career writing and performing for movie soundtracks. In This Hell and Hiroshima, there were vibes of the harmonic Middle East and the strength of classic pentatonic music from Asia. The only downfall was that these elements weren’t brought out as much as I longed them to be.
I think No Time Machine could have had some more variation in the vocal melody. Although the music as the too repetitive, the melody tended to drag on a little, which some variation could have fixed. Keep Moving lived up to its namesake, with a driving beat as well as the fact that it was one of the shortest songs on the album. Your Garden of Deceit dragged a bit at the beginning, but don’t let that phase you! Just before the five minute mark there was some solo guitar work that really made the track. Without it, I fear it would have been a boring piece. The album concludes with a short track called Omega; sounding very innocent compared to the rest of the album, and confusing unless it is played after the penultimate track.
Overall, the album is a good example of experimental-yet-slightly-ambient indie rock. There could have been a few aspects tweaked here and there, but StatiCity is built on solid foundations. I give it 8/10.
You can check out my review of their EP 03 3003 03030 3 here