Even when you hear a great buzz about a band you can never be sure it will hit one’s own personal appetite and set preferences towards particular sounds and their imagination. One which has surely ignited ours right now is Irish band Silverbacks courtesy of their new album, Fad, and a collection of songs which in a world of increasing discord spring the beauty, temptation and devilment in the sonic equivalent.
Dublin hailing, Silverbacks had bred a sound which seems to spring from the inspirations of seventies punk and new wave, similarly placed art rock, and a more nineties found indie adventure. As a whole, let alone song by song, it is a tapestry which is hard to truly pin down but to give you a sense of its presence imagine the irreverent punk instincts of Swell Maps and the clamorous invention of Fire Engines involved with the sonic dexterity of The Fall Of Troy and the off-kilter indie shenanigans of a Pavement for a potent hint.
Produced by Girl Band bassist Daniel Fox, the wickedly inimitable Fad immediately got under the skin with opener Dunkirk. It is one of a string of singles which has sparked that eager praise of Silverbacks so far and alone springs a thick temptation to explore more. The bass of Emma Hanlon offers the first lure, its enticement soon built upon by the crunchy beats of Gary Wickham. Being rhythmically wired in our appetites, this alone had ears hooked and lips licked; both with increasing zeal as guitars twiddled with the imagination with Peadar Kearney and Kilian O’Kelly increasing their antics as the latter’s twin brother Daniel uncaged his lyrical and vocal baiting. It is a glorious mix which had the body and imagination swinging in short time, the growing unpredictability and eruptions of sound only escalating the enslavement.
The exceptional start is followed by the similarly enticing escapade of Pink Tide. There is a less of a trespass on the senses across the song but with its melodic captivating is soaked in skilled commotion; the track matching the compelling prowess of its predecessor especially with The Mai Shi tinge to its melody rich uproar. The cacophonous hue to the band’s sound is perpetual enticement throughout Fad, one which ebbs and flows in uproar but always tempting away as in the nagging pleasure of Drink It Down. Guitars niggle away with their creative devilry, teasing and taunting in their jangle as rhythms incited eager movement. There is an energy and fertility to it all which is similarly echoed in the vocals and their ability to incite matching gusto in the listener.
Fad ’95 is as rhythmically skittish as those before it but calmer in its breath and infestation yet even that bass and drum manipulation is skilfully controlled in its excited fidgeting before the sonic drone of Dud brings a half minute of invasive yet haunting provocation. It is a moment which caught out ears and expectations with force and maybe drew unsure thoughts but also provided great intrigue as it leads to the magnetic charms and infection of Klub Silberrücken. With the enthralling tones of Emma taking the lead, the song swings its hips and shares its melodic smile within a sonic shimmer, that catchiness soon invading one’s hips. In turn Daniel’s vocals bring a feral din to the beauty, a meeting of contrasts which captivated just as the outstanding track itself.
From another brief sonic incursion courtesy of Travel Lodge Punk, its breath and noise lean and unfussy but again raw provocation to the imagination, the album burst into fervour loaded angular life again with Just In The Band. In some ways there is a touch of Pixies to the skilled clangour within which Emma’s bass again gripped the appetite in a way similar to the way Gang Of Four used to; the track raucous delight before Grinning At The Lid had us swaying with its pop rock friendly canter tinted with untamed punk ferocity.
The indie fingered Muted Gold explores a Talking Heads-esque revelry in its increasingly tenacious and infectious dance with successor Up The Nurses an enthralling slice of warped indie rock with Emma’s vocals again the lead radiance in its mercurial ruckus. Both tracks are superb, quickly settling alongside the openers as amongst are biggest favourites.
The Cajun lined instrumental Madra Uisce is enjoyable if not a moment we hanker for as much as its companions but a nice aside before the thumping album ender, Last Orders. From its chunkily resonating rhythms and dirty fuzziness to its united vocal clamour and concussive jangle, the track had the speakers and socially distanced crowds here bouncing; a rousing end to a similarly inspiriting album.
If you too have heard the buzz around Silverbacks let us say Fad confirms every praise carrying word and more.
Fad is out now via Central Tones; available through http://smarturl.it/SilverbacksFad
Pete RingMaster 06/08/2020