Jeff Angell recently announced his latest project, Jeff Angell’s Staticland, and in turn their self-titled debut album, which was released on Friday 6th May 2016.
Staticland came together as a result of Duff McKagans hiatus from Walking Papers, who is currently focusing his time on the reunion of the almighty Guns n’ Roses. In this time, Angell and key collaborator Benjamin Anderson (both known for their roles in the American Rock band Walking Papers) were offered the opportunity by UDR to expand on the sound they had defined in previous bands to form what is now known as Jeff Angell’s Staticland.
Soon after, the band recruited Post Stardom Depression drummer, Joshua Fant, and in only a short space of time the trio managed to put together a whole heap of potent new material which would soon become their first album.
When a group with such a collection of stylistic diversity and existing success choose to join forces, it’s hard to pass on the opportunity to listen in on what they have to offer. I sat down this week and listened to the debut album, Jeff Angell’s Staticland, with no clue over what to expect, and I wasn’t left disappointed.
The album offers a well-balanced blend of Blues Rock, Soul and good old Hard Rock, all of which is tied together and fused seamlessly with the captivating lyricism of Angell. The true passion and expertise from each member makes Staticland come across as a real ‘legacy’ band already, with such a strong presence you’d assume they’d been established for years with a legion of albums under their belt.
Everything Is Wrong kickstarts the album with dark, deepened Bluesy riffs, met by Angell’s smoldering vocals. The track seamlessly slips into The Edge, which encompasses the same dark riffs, but with a change of tempo to match the direction of the track.
Phantom Limb is a strongly built track, which again brings together heavy basslines and a haunting guitar riff, taking the track in the direction of something you’d expect from concept artists such as Muse, but with a dirtier punk attitude.
The World Is Gonna Win is a beautifully emotional track, which seems to follow Angell’s fear of having to let his daughter grow up and inevitably make her own life decisions and become her own woman. This was definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album for the sear honesty of it, and the visual writing style of Angell.
Nola is built on a very similar structure to The Doors’ L.A. Woman, with very similar Blues infused Chuck Berry style riffs, soulful vocals, old school keys and a powerful drum beat to match.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hd-quMa27E]
High Score introduces raw fuzz guitar and further intensified drum beats, balanced out superbly by Angell’s versatile and calming vocals, which resonate through the track and remain centre stage much like the post-punk workings of U2 or Simple Minds.
I’ll Find You is yet another track which demonstrates the articulate songwriting by Angell, describing the strong bond between soul mates. For such a colourful track, the band have pieced together the instrumentals in such a way that the track is complemented in such a way it forms more of a stand out love ballad.
There is such a diversity in the sounds and direction within this album that if it was pulled apart, you’d question whether you were listening to the same band. I like that in an album, you receive more than you bargained for and it gives the band freedom to move in directions that they are passionate about, rather than catering to a sound people expect.
Recommended Track – Freak
This track has such a mellow somber tone, with deep riffs mixed in with a tender electronic resonance.
1. Everything Is Wrong
2. The Edge
3. Never Look Back
4. Band-Aid On A Bullet Hole
5. Phantom Limb
6. The World Is Gonna Win
8. I’ll Find You
9. High Score
10. If You Only Knew
11. Tomorrow’s Chore
13. The Past Where It Belongs
14. The Cure Or The Curse
15. Let The Healing Begin