The psychedelic post-rock band Fiveighthirteen is made up of Mike Effenberger (keyboards, synthesizer, and piano), Nick Phaneuf (electric guitar, bass, and samples) and Mike Walsh (drums and percussion). The band’s name is inspired by The Fibonacci sequence – a set of numbers that starts with a one or a zero, followed by a one, and proceeds based on the rule that each number (called a Fibonacci number) is equal to the sum of the preceding two numbers. … F (0) = 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21. Their last album was released on 5.8.13 and the next one will be released on 8.13.21.
Currently Fiveighthirteen is flaunting their single “history doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme”, which is taken from their aforementioned, forthcoming album. It begins beautifully with warbled keys, but quickly bursts into a flurry of shimmering guitar motifs and gritty drums.
The bass progresses in smooth drones; it almost sounds like I’m listening to two songs at once. The track radiates warmth with a pleasing chord progression and swooning melodic lines eventually ebbing away to reveal a burbling electronic undertow.
Two-thirds into the song, the guitars dominate with a grittier and dirtier feel, while the keys never really surrender their status. Fiveighthirteen is a band that eschews the more traditional limitations of instrumental rock to create their own atmosphere. Firstly, they don’t meander endlessly, like many of their peers. The song being just under four and a half minutes, won’t allow for much interminable roaming anyway.
With the dwindling of attention spans of the masses, Fiveighthirteen have obviously challenged themselves in a rather expansive genre, to create something more concise, but without compromising their integrity. Fiveighthirteen keeps things neat and tidy. The separation of the instrumentation is clear and distinct. As is the melodic content, and the steady rhythm.
The tones are soft, warm and cloyingly inviting, on “history doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme”, yet with just enough grit to hold your attention and focus. Everything swells languidly and every note seems to be just at the tip of your tongue.
Everything seems more to the point, as Fiveighthirteen has delegated the foreground and background of each track judiciously. It is a track with little fat; something that is difficult to pull off in the post-rock genre, where more and longer seems to be the motto.
Fiveighthirteen perfectly control the dial on the delicate delays and genial reverbs, allowing the beauty of their melodies to dance among one another, flitting and shimmering in gentle ebbs and flows.
On the whole it’s a record that avoids the melodrama, instead tender and restrained and unashamedly gorgeous. Moreover, it’s eminently listenable. There’s distinct and reflecting central motifs, beautiful and haunting, which meld with the insistent beat of the drums.
“history doesn’t repeat, but it does rhyme” contains music that could be entered into, at any moment in time, and it will take you by the hand and lead you through it. And while ambient-styled, post-rock instrumental-only tracks, may not be for everyone, this one is fine-tuned – it arrives, makes its point, and leaves before it gets tiresome. This represents a level of heightened ability for the bands musicianship. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.