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Static Era - Album Review: Fit To Fight

15 May 2015 // A review by Carl Hayman

When I saw a message pop up on Facebook asking if anybody from muzic.net.nz could write a review for the new Static Era album Fit To Fight I think I must have messaged back in a matter of seconds to say yes. Having had a fair few rounds of jager shots with the lads in the band, I was super eager to have a listen to their new album which has a special meaning to the band as this is their final hurrah after many dedicated years of producing unique Kiwi rock.

Static Era comprises of four extremely talented musicians in their own right. The singer known as Emma G sings and teaches by day, is all about that paleo, and is a total advocate by woman's rights. She quite literally punches above her weight (most Sundays at Crossfit, to be fair). The guitarist Chris Yong is a bit of a public figure really - he recently ran as a member of the Internet Party, is a web marketing guru, and the riffs he laid down from the days he was in Tadpole remain played every Sunday afternoon on TV3 motorsport. Bass player Victor Pesch is an all round animal lover and also a crazy cat lady. His bass playing is tighter than a pair of jockey 'Y' fronts, and his backing vocals add at least 32% energy to the bands live shows. Last but not least, a man of many talents. Dave Rhodes is best known for winning a Tui at the NZ Music Awards a few years back, and giving up huge amounts of time mentoring other musicians and bands, and supporting plenty of local talent. He is also the mastermind behind the recent successes of the Depot Sound Recording Studio in Devonport which have lately been spitting out some top-level recordings of all kinds of artists. He's also a little bit good on the doof-doof machine.

Now that you all know who I am talking about, let's get to the guts of it: - Fit To Fight. The album debuted at number #25 in the top 40 NZ Album Charts just to give you a hint of how good the album is. I haven't asked the question, and I'm sure I'll get a text if I am wrong, but I am sure the name probably has a heap of personal meaning for Emma in her quest for physical fitness leading to the mind being in peak condition, helping dominate all aspects of life. It also just sounds cool. Either way, I like it. Static Era have dubbed it 'an 11 track battle cry' which sounds tough.

Unlike most albums released these days, Fit To Fight has a chain of singles that Static Era have released over the last few years. Fire Away and Nobody's Toy are awesome examples of premium level Kiwi singles that unfortunately have never had the support from mainstream radio, however the number of views on YouTube and plays on iTunes and Spotify suggest that they are definitely as far removed from being failures as they could possibly be. If you haven't seen the videos, do a quick YouTube search for Static Era, and you will see some premium examples of top notch videos.

The album kicks in with the first song - Sleeping Dogs. Snare drum resembles a marching band of doom. Big heavy guitar open chords, Deep rumbling base. then straight in with Emma - 'I am the queen bitch, I am miss cynical, I'll paint a pretty face, it's only visual'. It definitely sets the mood for what you can expect from the rest of the album. Moody, dark, and absolutely packed with attitude. Static Era definitely let you know within 30 seconds of kicking off that they are not a band to put up with your sh*t. Fire Away is a little more melodic, nice big punchy cymbal hits that dual the guitar stabs perfectly - then Chris Yong's vocals layer with Emma's to add and lift the whole tone of the song. If you have ever seen this song played live, you'll understand what I mean when you can't ignore what is going on stage due to the impact.

Dear Me is probably my favourite track off the album, it's a bit more personal. When I hear the song, I imagine a very hurt girl sitting in her room, tears rolling off her cheeks looking out the window at the stars, holding a pencil and pad, writing a letter to herself.

So Sore was the very first single I had heard from Static Era. The melody is so cool. I have no idea how Emma came up with the melody that she did to snake their way around the guitar chords that are being played, but it works perfectly. I have listened to this tune over and over again and cannot understand why this isn't being played every single day on mainstream radio.

There is plenty more for me to right about, but I have to leave you some reasons to listen to the album yeah? So how's this for a reason; hard hitting rock with attitude, big guitar chords laced with intricate riffs, solos that even the best guitarists would give respect to, bass lines that drive harder than Jason Statham in the movie Death Race, and a vocalist that not only can sing, but opens her total heart and soul up to you with complete transparency.

Head along to http://www.staticera.com/ and download a copy to give this band the recognition they deserve.

 

About Static Era

Static Era is an Auckland-based rock band (think Evanescence meets Stone Sour) that formed in late 2010 and features a stellar lineup of musicians.

Double-platinum selling guitarist Chris Yong (Tadpole, Redline, Alt TV) has performed internationally and toured with Disturbed, P.O.D, Alter Bridge and Evanescence.

Vocalist Emma G is a New Zealander of the Year Local Hero award recipient, honoured in 2012 for inspiring others through her music. Despite living with a health condition that has challenged her through twenty three surgeries, including ten brain surgeries, she established a successful singing career at a young age and placed top ten in the Inaugural Play It Strange songwriting competition in 2004. Emma G also teaches tertiary level music and was a vocal coach for eight years.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Static Era

Releases

Fit To Fight
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Dare To Fail
Year: 2013
Type: EP
The Start
Year: 2012
Type: EP

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