Instrumental post-rock is great to wander around to, pretending you’re in a film, but it rarely brings the party, and more often than not the movie soundtrack of bands like 65daysofstatic become overly dramatic and then boring. It’s probably because Australian duo Civil Civic’s third ‘member’, The Box, is a massive drum machine, and that they often play zapping synths that their lyric-less music remains fist-pumpingly fun and also ATP credible.
Their movie music is for a film that consists only of scenes where a spaceship is fleeing a star mid-supernova. It’s a triumphant, loud sound. This evening, guitarist Aaron Cupples and bassist Ben Green are less Flight of The Conchords than their online video appeal to raise money for the pressing their debut album has us expecting. A couple of wise-cracks aside (plus the amateurish ), they largely begin sounding like Metronomy playing airy krautrock, but they soon dip into a black hole of apocalyptic noise. With flashes of rainbow strobe one second and total blackout the next, it sums up exactly what the band are about – a perfectly synchronised mesh of electro pop and cheek-vibrating space noise.
They’re at their best, though, when they cruise an austere middle ground owed to The Cure and the ’80s, like on ‘Lights On A Leash’, and the crowd seem to agree – a chunk of people leave after it’s played. For a band with no words, though, Civil Civic command your attention, loudly, and by embracing as many upbeat melodies as they do swamping static.
By Stuart Stubbs
Originally published in issue 29 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. June 2011