Thursday, June 7, 2012
Silence is Sexy- Modern Antiques
I've been a fan of Silence is Sexy since about 2008. That doesn't make me some kind of OG fan, but a long term fan, nonetheless. I got into them on the strength of the songs on "Everything you Should Know" which really is still a stand out in the post "New Wave Revival" European rock scene. Then came "This Ain't Hollywood" which is still my go-to album for atmospheric pop rock- it's post punk in form, but in execution is more lush and orchestrated than what that term would imply. Since then, there has been very little new for me to hear- I don't live in Europe, so I've not been able to see them live, or anything, so coming into this new record is almost like hearing a brand new band.
There are a few tracks that do the kind of sweeping atmospheric post punk inflected stuff they are associated with in my mind. There are also straight up new wave tracks in the vein of Depeche Mode ( "Rain Begins to Fall" really echoes "StrangeLove") and baroque Beach boys styled retro pop ( "Holiday" and "American Life" could be lost tracks from "Smile", no doubt) with strong doses of Flaming Lips styled psychedelia, and noise rock ( "Lovely Ways to Die' is about as blown out and snarling as hardcore punk ) but really, it adds up to their own thing. Songwriting? Hell, easily equal to The New Pornographers, Decembrists, and Blitzen Trapper rolled together. Vocals? Again, Beach Boys are referenced. Musicianship? Excellent. I used to compare them to Radiohead. I think it's only Fashion that makes them a household name, and Silence is Sexy a near unknown in the States.
I don't mean any of this as hyperbole- Silence is Sexy really is one of my favorite bands, and while the sound changes with each record, I am still gladly following along as they hit the right combination between what I find familiar and what I find novel. So, a word about the title- I think while the title might be obvious, here's how I interpret it- Volume 1"MODERN Antiques" represents the more modern sound of their previous songwriting, while Volume 2 "Modern ANTIQUES" represents their newer songwriting, which reflects an older style of music- hence both are "Modern Antiques".