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The Silent Type VS The Silent Type
Hot And Bothered / Of Writing-Of Violence
Justaposition Records / Limekiln Records
www.thesilenttype.org / www.silenttype.net


The Silent Type -versus- The Silent Type?

Okay so here's the deal, I was just about to write up a review of The Silent Type when I received another shipment from our dearly beloved editor. As I'm thumbing through the new selections I notice The Silent Type has another album, and I'm like "Come on, I haven't sat on this review for that long". But no, it's not the same band. What the fuck? Isn't there some sort of government body that regulates the naming of bands so I don't have to face this predicament? No, ah well, so what's a jaded reviewer to do then… I know, we'll have a fight to the death, compare and contrast them right here to determine once and for all who deserves the name. That'll make me feel a whole bunch better anyways.

Not knowing where to begin I start with the internet (of course), you know, a sort-of which came first the chicken or the egg deal, but its not that clear cut, but this is what I gathered. In red corner we have The Silent Type from Philadelphia who began as two guys and added a third to release a record in 1999, though it's not clear whether it was a Silent Type record, but they eventually did release a Silent Type album in 2000. In the blue corner we have the brain-child of one man initially, The Silent Type from Richmond. He starts out with a Silent Type album in 2000 but eventually adds members until you end up with the 5 piece that is present on this current record. Where do you draw the line? I don't know but here comes the review…

The Silent Type (Richmond) - Of Writing/Of Violence is a very ambiance-based emo folky album that is on the slow and low side, kind of like another singer/songwriter: Michael Penn. Where the album succeeds is in the production. It sets the record apart, taking sparse geography and building a truly textured landscape that is full of nuance, even if there is a lot of space; it's just designed that way. The songs breathe gently, taking their time to lull the listener into a comatose state if not a downright morose somber tranquility. Where the album fails is in the material; there is just not enough there, barely any changes, all lead up with no explosion. It got to the point that hearing the female backing come forward in "Some Curious And Beautiful Map" was such a drastic change that I took notice, and likewise when an actual change occurred 5 minutes into a 7 minute song on the last track "Zeppelin", I really thought: "Too little, too late."

The Silent Type (Philadelphia) - Hot And Bothered is a straight forward rock and/or roll album taking cues from virtually every era of the evolution of rock. But to compare them to someone, I would have to go with an early Smashing Pumpkins with a little Trent Reznor vocals thrown in for flavor. This band succeeds in creating some interesting material with well defined themes and good changes. Energy is excellent and directed in the correct places showing this three-piece knows how to use their setup to accent each other, with no instrument hogging the show. "Dog Days" and "Noisemaker" are just plain good songs that show heart and intensity. Where this album fails is in the production, on the liner notes it says "Recorded in various basements" and man they aren't joking. It's to the point that a lot of their hard work is lost in the lack of clarity, ultimately very detrimental to the record.

So what's the final verdict, eh? Style or substance? You know, I don't know. Both have some very good points, excellent atmosphere versus excellent material. Both have their faults, lackluster material versus production that started in a basement. You know it's too close for me to call; they can both have the name for all I care. Maybe they should just have their lawyers call each other and the lawyers could fight to the death, that way we keep all the musicians but lose at least one lawyer.

-bishop

The Silent Type
Of Writing/Of Violence
Limekiln Records

Track listing:
1) Kneel
2) Ink And Blood
3) Soon Enough We'll Be Found Out
4) Vacant Hotel Lobby
5) Some Curious And Beautiful Maps
6) Oh John
7) The Gift
8) Of Writing/Of Violence
9) Zeppelin


The Silent Type
Hot And Bothered
Justapostion Records

Track listing:
1) Music
2) Dog Days
3) Noisemaker
4) Blackout
5) Americana Blues
6) El Presidente
7) Pagan Philosophy
8) Tidal (Everywhere Is War)
9) Evilution
10) Rise


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Mike Doughty



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