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.
The Silent Type
Of Writing/Of Violence
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
The Silent Type
Hot And Bothered
2) Dog Days
5) Americana Blues
6) El Presidente
7) Pagan Philosophy
8) Tidal (Everywhere Is War)
Check out more
e-mail the chief
Like this article?
it to a friend!