Artist: The Static Age
Date Released: October 19, 2004
- It Never Seems to Last
- Airplanes (remix)
- Pakistan (remix)
The intimidating sheen of Burlington, Vermont(?!)'s The Static Age on their sophomore release Neon Nights Electric Lives should rightfully throw you back to the first half of the 1980s when synth-pop and new wave was still a legitimate force in modern rock music and not just a parody of itself dominated by bad haircuts and overdriven synths. The Static Age are looking to play with a sense of style but not in such a way that their sound gets dominated by it; on the contrary, the quartet look to put classic pop songwriting at the fore and let the rest of the elements like liquid bass lines, orchestra-sounding synths, razor-sharp guitars take care of themselves.
It works: Despite only being nine songs long (Seven separate songs counting the two stellar remixes that end the album by Jade Puget for Airplanes (remix) and D. Prentice Walsh for Pakistan (remix)), the 42-minute run-time suggests there's more to it than that. Of course there is the inevitable single Amphibian that runs precisely four minutes, but that is the second shortest song on the album. The rest are spacious, melancholy numbers that would have Bernard Sumner no particular shade of green.
This, much like Bloc Party's Silent Alarm, is not so much a great album as a great collection of songs. By that logic the great album should naturally follow, and for The Static Age, Neon Nights Electric Lives most certainly has. Fantastic stuff. - Patrick Masterson