Paid By Cash: Static Ideas EP

Well, Paid By Cash and their debut EP Static Ideas completely side swiped me. Earlier this year, I totally enjoyed the nice, clean, flowing sound of the bands debut single Sirens In The Sea. Deceptively simple but clever catchy tune, and interesting lyrics thinks I. Then came Paid By Cash’s dark, brooding monster of In Memory, and I liked its slightly low fi, late night dark alley feel, and the way it contrasted to the debut.

As it transpired, that was just a hint of the Paid By Cash armoury, and I suddenly found myself being shot at from all sides while listening to their deliciously creative EP Static Ideas. If it’s not too stinky crass to make the analogy, I got a little bit of a vibe for how Putin might have felt on the evening of day one when he realised he had so vastly miscalculated the fire power of his neighbour.

To warm up your ears, the Static Ideas EP starts with that pretty epic Sirens in the Sea. Then the EP immediately moves to the darker side (or perhaps to the Upside Down if you are a Stranger Things fan) with the nicely understated Otherwise. This has just the perfect amount of Lou Reed New York punk vibes, but it is mixed with a cleaner brighter edge too, particularly its jaunty guitar lines, which contrasts very nicely with Ollie Carter’s dark, drawn out vocals. I could drown in that guitar sound; there’s soothing deceptively calm bits, twangy bits, spaghetti western hints and deep pools of many colours. Never let it be said I don’t go into musical technical detail, dear long suffering reader.

I love that slightly chaotic feel to Otherwise. It’s one of those ‘less is more’ moments; the way the band are exploring with the beat of the song works pretty perfectly; it rolls a little in and out of kilter like a perfectly safe and secure fun fair ride; creating a scream and a little bit of wee in the excitement.

As I’ve listened more to the EP, my favourite track has veered a little away from title track Static Ideas and towards Bleeding Out. The latter sounds like it could have been released in 1983, the height of the dark goth sound, but complete with a killer drum beat and a lush flowing tune. It’s not all just one theme though, and the band very cleverly bring in a less immediate sounding mid section which makes this track so distinctive. The whole concept of “bleeding out” is so upsetting and powerful to me, so those lyrics hit hard. There’s so much to absorb in this track that its 4 minute length feels much longer.

Tossing a coin for my favourite track is Static Ideas. This song both sounds nothing like Nirvana, and everything like Nirvana at the same time. A joyous concoction. I think what gets me with Paid By Cash is that no track ends the way it starts, there’s so much thought and development packed into each song.

I think out of the 250 + music reviews for oldmanblues, the 150+ for my previous home and the 100+ deposited in various other places in various names, this Paid By Cash EP has been one of trickiest to define and describe. This EP is special.

Chris R

* the really good black and white images come from the band’s social media. The truly chronic colour ones are the authors own.

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