Ever had that dream where you are submerged in a thick and ravenous atmosphere haunted by the darkest predatory and invasive shadows, a little like the climate in the Silent Hill games? Listening to the new album from Static Daydream is like being immersed in that except everything about it from its raw breath and melodic discord is seriously invigorating and welcome. Carrying tracks bred in the bracing winds of noise and psych rock and equally cultured in shoegaze and dream pop beauty, the debut album from the US duo of Paul Baker (founding member of Skywave and Ceremony) and girlfriend/musical partner Jamie Casey is a tempest of sound and emotion to simply bask in.
Taking inspirations from 60’s girl groups alongside 80’s and 90’s British noise-pop, the pair began recording The Only One EP, their first release, in 2012. Earning strong critical acclaim upon release in 2014 on Moon Sounds Records, it was a swiftly devoured proposition instantly laying down the seeds of major anticipation for the band’s debut full-length. Released through Saint Marie Records and Moon Sounds Records, that encounter is here, eleven tracks igniting ears from the very start with reverb infested melancholic sound matched in potency by vocal and lyrical prowess within senses disorientating, discord fuelled roars. Within that ‘storm’ too ravishing melodic beauty and creative elegance shines. It is a fusion which has a sense of familiarity yet defies any real pinning down as to why, despite any references to others which may be suggested, for a unique and virulently contagious offering which just grows and strengthens in persuasion with very single listen.
The album opens with the immediately rousing More Than Today, a song which starts with a raw flame of guitar hinting at the raw punk hues of Birdland before blossoming a warm and caustic breeze of noisy but mellow pop with shades of House Of love. The dual vocals of Baker and Casey just entwine perfectly within the fuzzy climate of keys and the continuing sonically punk guitars. It is a stirring start matched by the slightly harsher air of Nowhere To Hide, a song fusing My Bloody Valentine like charm with the coarser haunting sonic ambience of Ceremony. The song gets darker and more energetically rabid with every passing minute, its already tenaciously fiery body just bristling with intensity and turbulence by its exciting close.
Run Into The Night grumbles with rhythms and riffs as it harmonically serenades next, its touch a fierce simmer on the senses and urgent spark for the imagination. Continuing to show a new aspect to the character of the album and Static Daydream’s sound, the song becomes a fire of noise and persuasion though it is quickly over shadowed by the outstanding Blue Tambourine Girl. Ears and emotions were enslaved almost instantly as a glorious Simon Gallup/Cure like bassline colludes with just as magnetic hooks and melodies to set things in motion, resonance wrapped vocals and firmly delivered beats only adding to the again seemingly recognisable but distinct theatre. That bass seducing continues to grip attention and ardour yet never takes away from the other just as masterful and spellbinding sounds aligning with it. The track is aural slavery and the pinnacle of the album, though there are many subsequent close-runs coming to snatch its title.
Just Stay is one such rival, its rhythmic and melody honed shuffle Jam like whilst as a mesmeric shimmer of reverb fascination and splintered but captivating dark rock grooves evolve alongside. The track is brimming with compelling hues which just hang around to light up an irresistible incitement on ears and rich pleasure, even when it brews up its own individual bluster of noise and dark romantic energy.
There is a similar canvas to the following Until You’re Mine, though its landscape is far busier and comes rapaciously inflamed as harmonies and melodies smoulder in the face of a wall of reverberation and scuzz spewing resonance. Throughout the album, Static Daydream weave in enticing essences of post punk, but this is the first song alone which virtually wears the flavour as it continually slips through a soundscape of fresh scenery and emotive atmospheres for another major highlight to the release.
The pair of Another Rainy Night Without You and When I Turn Around You’re Gone keeps ears and appetite aroused, the first with its dirty Jesus and Mary Chain pungency over glowing psych rock melodies and ethereally coloured vocals. Its successor flirts with more seemingly Cure inspired hooks and revelry, smothering them in dramatic sonic clouds veined by acidic grooves and deeply biting hooks, and a bassline which again has nostalgia and salacious seduction in its armoury.
One thrilling and inspiring trespass is followed by another and the eighties spiced The Only One. At times it is a fiercer provocative than its predecessor but in other moments a gentler heatwave of sound, the extremes fluidly united and continually matching inescapable sirens on ears It is a success only continuing with the gloriously aching noise haze of When She Falls and indeed last song I’ve Destroyed Everything. The album’s closer is sweltering smog of sound and emotive intensity with again post punk flavours woven into an alluring cacophony of discordance and sonic spicery breeding impassioned vocals and bristly melodies.
The final triumph helps suggest that Static Daydream’s album is arguably stronger in its second half than first but the difference in invention and certainly enjoyment is marginal at any time. The feeling coming out of the band’s label Saint Marie Records, is that they are rather excited about this release and fair to say they have plenty of reasons to be. If the thought of fuzzy, indeed seductively scuzzy sounds with vibrant imagination excites, then Static Daydream, band and album, is one offering you need to be checking out.
Static Daydream is available from August 28th on Vinyl, CD, and digitally via Saint Marie Records and Moon Sounds Records.
Pete RingMaster 28/08/2015
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