Bloody Knives has been steadily striving for the balance between melody and noise, taking the shoegazing alternative stylings of My Bloody Valentine or Curve and progressing into more eclectic electronic modes like those presented first on 2018’s White Light Black Moon, and now on 70 Years of Static. The record begins with “Lostaway,” the stuttering noisy bass tones like a helicopter hovering above a car wreck, the thrust of the acidic bass tone and the drums underplaying Preston Maddox’s voice, the reverb and harmonic effects like a shimmering layer of chrome painted on a rusty machine struggling to function correctly. The album continues in this vein with the insistent and strident percussion duking it out with the shrill electronic drones to see which provides the greatest tension, while Maddox’s bass tone grinds like the incessant hum of well oiled motor in an otherwise dilapidated shell; from the gritty and driving pulse of “Out From the Shadows into the Light,” the shimmering and spectral atmospheres of “NYE” with the synth layers making for a lush and lovely coda, to the monotonic swells and breakbeats belying the desperation of the vocal melody and the interplay of noisy guitar and slinky electronic passages on “Parasomnia,” the album keeps the listener in a near constant state of sonic exasperation. There are the unrelenting drumbeats of “This Is the Way You Burn” giving rise to an abrasive howl of distorted bass as the echoes of the vocals make for one of the record’s strangely catchier moments, as does the ascending three-note bass line and layered harmonization of “Extinction,” and the reversed guitars amid fluttering synths and dynamic breakbeats on “Torniquet” evoke an almost drum & bass ambience, but it is “Ashes into Dust” that stands as perhaps the record’s most single-ready display of aural bliss as its dynamic bass line and melodic phrases remain dominant atop the miasma of noisy reverb.
As if the album’s 10 new tracks were not enough, and this is likely as they would have only clocked in at 28 minutes, 70 Years of Static also offers listeners some remixes. The legendary Dean Garcia’s dreamy and strutting rendition of “Parasomnia” stands out as the faint trickles of piano enhance the sardonic and saccharine nighttime ambience of the song’s strutting rhythm and bass line, while the rocking Brit-hop stylings of the UK Club mix of “This Is the Way You Burn” by Secret Wilderness is pure dance floor snazziness. Less frigid and impenetrable than the previous album, but certainly no less passionate or dense, 70 Years of Static presents Bloody Knives’ continued evolution in fine form.