Thursday, 23 June 2011

Silent Smiles - Quarter To Twelve EP

Taste is subjective, and taste in music doubly so. One of my favourite things about hearing something new is playing it to my friends to gauge their reaction or to find out if they can hear the same things in a song that I can. The same influences, the same emotions.

The list of bands I got back after playing people the new Silent Smiles EP was a mixed bag. Some were miles away from those I'd come up with on my own but, after a few more listens I could see where these people were coming from.

Some of the bands listed included: The Cure, Editors, Undertones, Arctic Monkeys, Dirty Pretty Things and The Enemy... Which is a pretty impressive list of bands to be compared to in just 5 tracks. But don't get me wrong, this EP is no homage to those listed above - It's a well written, well played and well recorded EP that's far more of it's time than a lot of things I've heard recently.

The opening track 'Quarter to Twelve' has that distinctive guitar sound that XFM cream themselves over... And rightly so. It's by no means the most uplifting track on the EP as it evokes images of late night clubs in London backstreets and nights better off forgotten. Like the best nights out it leaves you feeling slightly dirty but craving more.

Track two 'Roulette' has a much more classic feel to it. The riff could sit as well in the Undertones back catalogue as it would any of the current Indie darlings doing the circuit. The backing vocals add to the timelessness of this track and the chorus has that fantastic quality of getting stuck in your head long after the songs over.

The third track, 'Witches Coven', was the only track that didn't grab me immediately. Whilst musically the track is very clever, the change in vocal style didn't sit well with me on first listen. It was a grower though and whilst I wouldn't skip to this track, I wouldn't skip past it.

'Peach Creek (As I Fall)', the fourth track on this EP is quite American sounding. Much bigger sounding than the earlier tracks in terms of production it's one of those songs you hear and are immediately transported to the last night of a festival. It's road trip music - the soundtrack to something vast and open... And a great counter to the claustrophobic grimy feeling of the first track.

The final track is one I've heard many times before and, I have to admit, I love it. Kicking off with the drums, bass and vocals only it takes you straight to a time where you were more likely to be hanging out with your mates in a park than the pub - a feeling that's mirrored perfectly by the lyrics themselves. As the guitar comes in you're left with the taste of cheap fags, cheaper lager and a longing for another 5 tracks from these lads.

Silent Smiles new EP 'Quarter to Twelve' is available HERE