Formed in 2015, Cambridge alt-rockers Standing Like Statues, have supported We Are The Ocean, Decade, Fort Hope and Courage My Love, as well as being featured on BBC Look East and having the ongoing support of BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire, as well as from Kerrang! Radio’s Johnny Doom. The band worked with award-winning producer Romesh Dodangoda on songs from their “Reality Checkpoint” EP, showcasing all necessary firepower to straddle the line between a commercially ear-catching sound and an experimental rock edge. It might sound like an easy task, but you can count the bands that are successfully able to strike that balance on the fingers of maybe one or two hands.
On “Reality Checkpoint”, Standing Like Statues hone in on their ability for cranking out stadium-sized riffs and radio-friendly hooks, while their musical arrangements and lyrical narratives have ambitious tendencies.
“These new tracks explore claustrophobic feelings, mixed with an underlying anxiety that eats away, making you question and over-rationalize things. It’s a cry for help, with an answer,” explains the band, concluding: “They were written following a year long hiatus, due to the impact of mental health, so we wanted to put the feelings of that into this new chapter.”
Standing Like Statues open the EP with an epic and bone-crushing sonic template on “Skylines”. Both jangling and cataclysmic guitar chords are driven by slamming drums and rolling basslines, as the vocals soar into eternity.
This is musically riveting stuff, as the band moves through their soft-loud dynamics, leading to thunderous choruses and all-around great performances. “Skylines” retains its fiery energy throughout, certifying that Standing Like Statues is a true boilerplate alt-rock act.
Also worth highlighting is the jangly smoothness, and at once rapturous “Stupid Love”. Further proof that Standing Like Statues are masters of the thunder-and-lightning approach, as they switch sound and mood aesthetics on the turn of a bar. And indeed, this track truly delivers in every aspect.
The Cambridge alt-rockers accomplish their greatest achievements when they let their song writing take center-stage, and then create the most expansive wall of sound they possibly can, to wrap it inside of. Case in point: “Stupid Love”.
Throughout “Confidence”, Nigel and Meitar’s guitars dance along with Chris’ confident bass tone and Beth slamming the hell out of the drums, creating exactly the kind of sound that allows Jamie’s vocals to blow the roof off the joint.
The EP closes with the raw and raucous grind of “The Best Kind of Anxiety”. It’s the kind of musical dirtiness born from rock n roll and fostered by punk, containing an innate concoction of passion and technical skill. All throughout “Reality Checkpoint”, Standing Like Statues’ sheer level of craftsmanship will easily ensure that they slide into the public consciousness.
Standing Like Statues are firing on all cylinders on this EP, and if they cultivate the spark they seem to have ignited here, it could lead to some major interest from the industry and fans alike. Standing Like Statues put all their raw energy into each song, and they sound like they belong together.