Over the course of ten years and eight full lengths, post-rock perpetrators 65daysofstatic have metamorphosed from grandiose, even symphonic guitar-driven progressions that meandered their way towards rapturous climaxes, to a palpitation-inducing assault of glitch-laden electronics that imbues their rockist dynamism with the pure volume and euphoria of the dance club. Tonight, however, the band find themselves in a retrospective mood, and as such the rather reserved audience within the homely confines of The Brook are engorged and willfully succumbed by the entirety of the band’s debut The Fall Of Math.

The respective heavy cadences that puncture both ‘Install A Break In The Heart That Clucks Time In Arabic’ and ‘Retreat! Retreat!’ are met eagerly by a mass synchronization of banging heads coupled with the faintly tangible sound of half-hearted fringes slapping onto gradually moistening foreheads.

Before long however, vocalist and guitarist Joe Shrewsbury assumes an antagonistic stance after the crowd, in typical Southampton fashion, assumes a near total silence between songs- bar the odd over-zealous shrieks of excitement from a particularly enthused gaggle of girls. The killer line- “Well I do feel like we’ve connected on a rather profound level” is delivered with more than a palpable whiff of seething sarcasm. In a vain effort to provoke crowd interaction, Shrewsbury’s guitar is passed around the crowd to “warm it up” but there’s still a feeling that even by the end of the set, a connection sufficient to appease Shrewsbury remains unfulfilled.

Visually, the band’s repertoire of strobe lights and incandescent visual gadgets operates like a stadium rock show condensed into a quaint living room, matching the aural barrage with seizure-inducing ocular maelstroms. Rumbling bass upsets internal organs with its penetrating vibrations on the interlude ‘The Last Home Recording’ whilst on ‘Aren’t We All Home’ off-kilter rhythms draw the retrospective segment to a close in a flurry of delay-soaked guitar. Closing the show, three stripped back yet no less urgent new songs plus a solitary inclusion of ‘Radio Protector’ from 2009’s Escape from New York seal an exuberant and masterful display of musicianship that leaves everyone, apart from Shrewsbury of course, suitably transfixed and utterly contented.

George Percival

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