There is a lot of geography separating members of avant rock group Static Trio. Drummer Mike Thies lives in Brooklyn while guitarist Dave Devine and Bassist John Grigsby live in Denver.  Once or twice a year they manage to convene in Big D or The Apple for a string of shows that usually includes a CD Release.  Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to catch Static in Denver at Dazzle, one of the city’s premier listening rooms.  Thies had flown into town a few days earlier and the group had had little time to rehearse material from their second release, “Songs For People.”  When I walked into the room they were a few songs into their first set and I noticed that the audience was transfixed.  Devine slung a harsh wail from his guitar and Grigsby’s fingers pounded out a raw melody like it was sheet metal while Thies’ movements were such a blur behind the kit that he looked like a mad spider spinning an invisible aural web; a cascade of sound poured off of the stage.     

I was amazed (as I am each time I see them live) at the kaleidoscope of sounds Static is able to squeeze out of their instruments.  Besides writing creative music that remains stuck inside your head long after you’ve put your iPod away, Static garnishes their musical salad with dashes of scrapes and creaks and perfectly placed whines and gurgles.  As Devine traded his Jaguar for a twelve-string in between songs, he looped a large throbbing chord that flickered in and out of phase while Thies ground the butt of a drumstick against the protruding nipple of a bell bronze ride cymbal producing an eerie metallic squeal.  Then as Devine tuned his guitar, Thies beat out an asymmetric pattern on the toms.  Devine’s oscillating loop trickled away like an ebbing tide and Grigsby’s bass took over.  Alone, he introduced a doleful meter less melody that seemed to bleed out of his instrument.  Then his notes picked up momentum and soon the fused together with Thies’ beat.  I looked around the room and all heads were bobbing in unison.  Devine’s guitar entered surreptitiously and for a moment I didn’t even know it was there as a sonic ripple undulated from stage left.  Then, at the peak of their swell the wave broke and I had no idea how what had started as a faint trickle had surged into a violent hurricane.  

At home I listened to “Songs For People with headphones on so I wouldn’t miss any subtle moments that might be diluted coming out of stereo speakers.  Grisgby’s song “Luap,” aside from being deliciously catchy is full of tasty little moments that are best appreciated directly inside your ear.  Thies’ springy dub beat and Grigsby’s thick truncated bass lines mesh with Devine’s scratchy catlike guitar tone to produce dark and infectious overtones and a slithering groove that’s so good it almost hurts. A Sense of Violence is another standout track.  Although a beat short of conventional meter, the seamless Violence doesn’t miss a step.  Devine layers two electric guitars over a soft steel string pattern and what results is a beautiful amalgam of day and night.  Sitting on your roof at twilight, this piece is the soundtrack you might hear in your head as you watch the sun sink into the west sometime around the end of July.  Violence doesn’t come to terms with its own moniker until the very end, and even then it’s two parts ardor and only one part bloodshed.  “Songs For People” is a winner from three fertile musical minds.     

Pick up a copy of “Songs For People” @ 

iTunes or 

http://www.rhapsody.com/static-trio/songs-for-people 

Contact Static Trio @  www.myspace.com/statictrio

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