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Three members of the idealistic side of the punk rock scene and a classically trained pianist, armed with a desire to write unique songs neither devoid of style nor dominated by it, this Burlington, Vermont-based quartet draws on romantic loss and melancholic longing, delivering with the unmistakable urgency and honesty of a band that matters. The songs weave Andrew Paley's beautifully weathered vocals and textured guitars with Sarah Rose-Cameron's elegant keyboard melodies over the backdrop of Adam Meilleur's punchy bass lines and Tim "Alek" Mulley's tempered drums. The Static Age has developed its own sound -- one that infuses melody, atmosphere, a strong backbeat, and lyrics alternately acerbic and melancholic, and one that manages to sound like nothing else before it.
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Propelled by watery bass, synth strings and the delightful inclusion of a xylophone riff which imbues the dark lyrics with a haunting childlike quality, the title track gains steam from its initial drum thump, and locks into a tight bass-driven groove with overlaid vocal harmony for the climactic outro.
Other standouts include the galloping "Skyscrapers," and "Trauma," the guitar-heavy riffage bathed in hi-fi synthesizer and drum loops of which recalls the latest Stereophonics record, chased with Depeche Mode. Elsewhere, "Cherry Red" is among the most exuberant tunes this band has delivered thus far, opening with an upbeat string figure and taking off vocally in the choruses.
At their best, The Static Age concoct an almost perfect blend of '80s affectation and post-punk furor, but they seem incapable or unwilling to stretch this quality over a "modern"-length album. "Blank Screens" doles out nine tracks clocking in at under 40 minutes, and the record's momentum is simply lost after the sixth ("The Bluebird Room"). With more gut-wrenching epics like "Trauma" and "Vertigo," the song that likely put them on any maps they're currently on, The Static Age might be seeing fewer blank screens and more blank stares at their shows in the near future.
They never dissapoint. Also check out Andrew Paley's solo work "White Rooms."