Australia has had a habit of late. It’s produced some of the most forward thinking and downright awesome bands. The likes of Karnivool, Circles, Northlane, Twelve Foot Ninja (I could go on) have been spewed forth from that far away rock, and Statues look to add their name to the illustrious list with their debut album Together We’re Alone.
Being billed as chaotic hardcore, I have a feeling that this won’t be pretty. This is indeed a good thing.
2005 called, it wants its band back! This though is a compliment of the highest degree, Statues oozes a sound that made that era so great, remember Johnny Truant? I know some of you do, it’s like they’ve been resurrected and given a new skin and a new identity, only this time, there’s more groove added to their destructive arsenal. On a personal note too, it’s nice to hear bands use unison bends in their break downs again, ‘Always Building Always Breaking’ has a prime example of this, so many feels!
As the album progresses, make sure you’re strapped in tight, as this is like the most insane, vomit inducing roller coaster ever conceived! There’s no let up whatsoever, singer Jayme Van Keule is like a terrier pumped full of steroids, testosterone and caffeine, his yappy style just keeps coming and coming. OK, maybe that’s 95% true as he does show a softer side in ‘I Want Peace’, it’s like he’s saying “We’re going to carry on with this beating right after we have a breather, go pick up your broken teeth”, that’s nice of him, isn’t it?
Sure enough, after that lull, Statues continue with the harshest beating of your life, except this time there’s a lot more intricacy to their riffs, it’s like the band are possessed by a mixture of Dillinger Escape Plan, Norma Jean and Every Time I Die. In a very sadistic way, I want this beating to continue. Some credit however has to go to the guys responsible for mixing (Matthew Templeman) and mastering (Simon Struthers) this hellride. They’ve added a slick and dazzling veneer to the whole thing, which maybe wouldn’t have been so prominent in the hands of someone else.
‘Hope Is’ was a turning I wasn’t expecting this ride to take, it’s like being in a Louisiana bar, which stinks of stale whiskey and cigarette smoke, but in a good way. The final song ‘Within Arm’s Reach’ is the crowning glory of Together We’re Alone, it’s crushingly heavy, yet there’s a melodic twang to it which wasn’t heard on the rest of the album. It’s very Devil Sold His Soul, but with a Statues branding on the ass of it.
I don’t think you could end the album more perfectly than that really, it just gently waves you goodbye as it rides off into the sunset. Albeit likely riding off to a hospital after the battering.
It’s so refreshing to hear bands sound like this again. To me, it seemed like this sound had quietly died a slow death, but I guess I was wrong. Statues are one of those bands keeping this ideal alive, and despite not being well-known, and in terms of sheer intensity, I’ll gladly put them up there with the likes of The Chariot, Norma Jean and Every Time I Die.
If you like any of the aforementioned bands, meet your new favourite!