Together We’re Alone
9th January 2015 – Highland Records & Management
01. All Fears Are Learned All Victories Are Earned
02. Always Building Always Breaking
03. Oh Precious Commodity
04. Forseeing The Crowd And Not The Rain
05. Affliction Prescription
06. I Want Peace
08. Burning The Truth At Both Ends
09. The Wanderer
10. Hard Words Softly Spoken
11. Hope Is
12. Within Arm’s Reach
As a general rule, it’s said that the most skilled visual artists are able to imbue their work with movement; a sense of energy, conveyed through their chosen medium, to give their subject matter life. This is most true when the subject is alive, and perhaps even more when the format is carving. Make any mistakes and you either have to start again, or accept a flawed end result. Many choose the latter, and you end up with something pretty, but ultimately lifeless.
It was entirely possible that Aussie hardcore quintet Statues, in naming themselves after such a potentially rigid object, may have set themselves in stone before they ever got started.
But no; Statues’ debut album Together We’re Alone marries the immense presence of Christ The Redeemer with the classical beauty of Michelangelo’s David. It’s hewn from a slab of meat of Herculean proportions into a fluid, muscular titan; a cacophonous Colossus with the introspective aspect of Rodin’s Thinker.
For starters, it just sounds beautiful. Matthew Templeman’s mix and Simon Struthers’ mastering are near flawless, allowing every crunchy punch from the guitars, every thudding drum and cymbal crash, and every throbbing pulse from Templeman’s bass to shine through crystal clear. It’s not often you get this kind of clarity – especially not when the music is this chaotic – and in fact opening track “All Fears Are Learned All Victories Are Earned” is the perfect example of this; elements are added in one by one, but you never lose track of a single one.
It would be silly not to mention The Dillinger Escape Plan at this juncture. Statues have taken some pretty lofty influences and run with them, and chief amongst them is the Morris Plains grandmasters. ”Affliction Prescription” is one of the most immediate examples of DEP worship – the main riff/drum beat combo (a particularly tasty injection of stabbing, off-kilter chords and beats) in particular - but rather than attempting to clone their formula, it’s just one of a raft of tasteful additives, with nods to The Chariot and letlive. more than welcome; tracks like “Hard Words Softly Spoken” play with aggression in different modes.
Statues also find time to step away from the utterly spastic and belligerent to experiment with some radically opposing styles. “I Want Peace” is a disarming clapped beat/a cappella segue that pushes the talented Jayme Van Keulen’s vocals to the fore. Likewise, penultimate track “Hope Is” plays with that great American slide guitar sound; it’s soulful and seductive, and sounds fantastic. They’re welcome digressions from, and additions to the eyeball-popping onslaught of the other ten songs.
As the album’s hopeful closing refrain “maybe hope’s not as far as we thought” sounds out, it’s highly likely you’ll find yourself reaching for the replay button. Together We’re Alone is a liberating, cathartic piece of art, sculpted and honed over time like good whisky and a bad hangover, and it’s a cracking tonic for the new year.