Words like ‘chaos‘, ‘aggression‘, ‘honesty‘ and ‘passion‘ get tagged onto too many bands fiending for some kind of relevance, something to distract from the actual monotony that tends to plague a part of the Australian music scene. Thankfully, Statues are a band that organically uses these elements, creating a decisive debut album release.
For fans who have heard Statues before, particularly their split release with Adelaide locals Life Pilot, the opening track may come off as a surprise, but definitely a welcome one. Rather than blasting into a flurry of dissonant guitars with frantic riffs typical of their previous release, the opening track is a more refined approach than I was expecting. Though a surprise, it was definitely not unwelcome. I enjoy a band going beyond my expectations, particularly when the song opens up into an odd groove not dis-similar to Stray From The Path, but with Jay’s unique vocal style backing it, making it it’s own.
In saying that, a lot of the album plays out how I suspect; frantic, aggressive hardcore that appears stressful most of the time, with some unforgettable musical sections paired with Jay’s emotive screams, delivering a positively fueled message laced with a self-awareness, Lacking in a lot of lyrical content provided by other bands many would attempt to paint with the same brush. There’s a rawness to the musical approach, but it feels almost stripped back from their previous release, with a lot more polish in the mix. This makes the album appear a little less busy, but allows each individual’s performance to stand out.
It’s great to see Statues deviate from their expected path; ‘I Want Peace‘ is an usually rhythmic diatribe, slightly despairing but melodic in it’s approach. Another surprise is ‘Hard Words Softly Spoken‘, a song with a straight forward approach which is a real testament to the band’s mature song-writing. However, the two stand out tracks are ‘Affliction Prescription‘ and ‘Abide‘. These particular tracks would be absolutely wild live; a perfect mix of musical technicality and an honest vocal delivery. The real stand-out on these tracks is Matthews’s bass lines; he may well be one of the tightest and technically minded bass players in the hardcore scene. He could easily fall behind and follow the guitars, but he adds his own flair to the album, but particularly these songs. Listen out for his ridiculousness.
From the opening track ‘All Fears…‘ to the climatic closer ‘Within Arm’s Reach‘, it’s clear to see that Statues are a band bordering on becoming a world class act. There are few criticisms to give with this record, and I’m eagerly anticipating seeing them translate this into their live performance. I know for a fact I’ll be screaming ‘All I’ve got are my bones‘ by the end of the night.