Okay, I’m late to the party when it comes to Silent Age’s debut album “Display” but, like I always say, better late than never. Thanks to a new connection with the people behind Play Alone Records, this album hit my radar and I don’t think it will be leaving any time soon.
The ten song album starts with “World on Fire” and instantly sets the tone for what is to come with this album. Highly alternative but unable to be put in a more specific box than that, Patrick’s vocals instantly caught me as unique. There’s an almost 90’s vibe to it that is only amplified by the beautiful soundscape being created by the rest of this five piece behind him. With breaks in the vocals that let the instrumentation take the foreground, and waves of sound that come naturally, this opening track had me sold and I couldn’t help but wonder what the rest of this album would bring as I could see it going multiple ways.
“Drift Away” has an almost ghostly element to it. Maybe it’s the haunting way the vocals come across or the almost spacey guitar work behind the words, regardless, I loved this song so much. Somehow the band went from a 90’s vibe to an 80’s pop vibe (all the while staying within the realm of post-punk) within the blink of an eye but it doesn’t seem shocking or anything like that. It somehow works perfectly and although it’s much different than the opening track, “Drift Away” is so clearly Silent Age’s. Same came be said for “Nothing Ascertained” which brings the synth sound to the front being playing by Benny. Again, Patrick’s vocals take an almost haunting approach throughout this track. It’s clear by the middle of “Nothing Ascertained” that Silent Age is one of the few current bands really pulling off the whole post-punk thing but the wide range of influences for this group is also heard loud and clear.
Fourth up on the album is “No Games” which brings an almost playful element to this album. The upbeat yet light drums keep the song at a driving tempo while the vocals seem to try and drag it down a little bit. That battle for the tempo is only amplified by the other battle happening throughout this track. A push and pull of the spotlight between the synth and everything else seems to be a beautiful constant in this song. Some may say the synth overpowers everything to an obnoxious point but I think it matches the lyrics and vibe of this song in an oddly perfect way.
“Charred (Wildflowers)” is definitely my favorite track on this album. It’s the kind of song that makes your head move from side to side whether you want it to or not. Infectious and poppy but still clearly a nod to the post-punk scene, the energy of this song is nothing short of infectious. Unfortunately, this favorite song is also the shortest song and at just over two minutes, I only wish the band would have expanded on this song so I could enjoy it longer. That being said, the way it fades before the album moves onto “Wall of Faces” makes up for the briefness. “Wall Of Faces” keeps the upbeat tempo but drops the poppiness for something a little bit darker (but I struggle to call it dark in general). This song really showcases the range of Patrick’s vocals. Although the range isn’t as large as I’ve heard from some vocalists, the hills and valleys of his voice are perfect for him. There’s no point where it feels like he’s straining but you can hear that he’s working and I loved that aspect of this song.
“Scattered (Never Let me Go)” instantly hit me as a thing of beauty. You get a sense of pain and passion in the vocals throughout this song that have yet to be heard on this album which makes the song stick out in all the best way. This is one of those songs that you just have to hear. My words will never do it justice.
Another stand out track on this album is “Unintentions (Frozen State)”. This one keeps the passion that was introduced in “Scattered (Never Let Me Go)” in the spotlight but also brings a sense of unspoken aggression. A bit quicker and a bit more driving when it comes to the drum pattern, it’s almost like this song is expanding on the feelings of “Scattered (Never Let Me Go)”. Benny’s bass solo that ends this song is the perfect segway into “Icesun” which starts as a slap in the face but it’s a good kind of slap. Within the first lick of this track, you think you know what’s coming but that idea is thrown out the window once Patrick’s vocals come in. What you think is going to be an optimistic, happy-go-lucky song with an upbeat synth being the highlight, is quickly turned into a perfect post-punk anthem with a sense of darkness blended into everything else going on. “Icesun” is absolutely my favorite song when it comes to the lyrics but I’m not going to ruin them for you. I highly suggest you check out this song.
Closing out this quick 10 track album is “Complex” which is a, well, complex song. I love the way that this track seems to take bits and pieces from all of the previous songs and make them into one epic closing track. Atmospheric, in your face, heartbreakingly beautiful… this song has it all and that’s what makes it the best closer ever.
Silent Age is definitely a band I will be watching. They have a very classic sound but there’s something new and improved about it all the while being very unique.
My Favorite Track(s): Charred (Wildflowers); Scattered (Nevet Let Me Go); Unintentions (Frozen State)
For Fans Of: Chilling out; post-punk; art
Dance-ability: 4.2 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid in the last ray of sun that hadn’t given into the night yet; Autumn slept on my bed
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7.1 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5
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