The Silent Years - The Globe
Record Label: Defend Music
Release Date: August 12, 2008
The rock sextet, The Silent Years take audiences on a magic carpet ride through lush soft-pop atmospherics and glittering rock landscapes on the band’s latest release, The Globe. Produced by The Silent Years, the music has avant-pop intonations relatable to The Arcade Fire, a chamber-rock bounce liken to The Polyphonic Spree, and folk rock inflections with the sensibilities of Ben’s Brother. The music is designed to be savored as the songs penetrate deeper into the listener’s mind with each take. The band’s emotional esthetics comes through in each track with meaningful chord changes and tempo shifts that go in rhythm with the story being told in each song.
The rises and falls strewn across “The World’s Worst Birthday Gift” match the highs and lows of the story as lead singer/guitarist Josh Epstein professes, “Even in Eden the evil snuck in with the snake / Cause that’s where it ends / A broken cheek you received cause you fell from your personal Hell in your Birthday suit / And it’s killing you like a straw that could crack the proverbial back and it fell on you / It’s the world’s worst Birthday gift.” Not a single melodic pattern, chord rotation, swirling loop, or slit for the transitional changes are simple to perform or haphazardly placed. The melodic courses are well planned out and arranged, and though the band are liberal with their artistic strokes, every beating note, trickling phrase and swiveling chord pattern are there for a reason.
The pull and release in the rhythmic flow of bassist Mike Majewski and drummer Ryan Clancy through “Out into the Wild” allow keyboardist Cassandra Verras and guitarist Fabian Halabou to burrow in the swells while tambourine player Pat Michalak circles the melody in jangly chimes. The rushing and receding surf of “Climb on my Back” creates an pendulum swing with Epstein’s vocal overdubs suspended above. The gentle sleet of guitar chords and soft-pop atmospherics for “Black Hole” break into monstrous flourishes that howl with a human ache, but fizzle to a lounging drift along the folksy temperatures of “The Sun is Alive.” The church organ resonance looming through “Goddamn You” dissolves into a catchy sway and soft melodic rock riffs that bear a resemblance to Blue October. The Silent Years strength lies in the band’s skillful handling of chord changes and tempo shifts causing the bow of their boat to dip in and out of the surf and shifting its aim, which re-directs the energy of the songs without losing the listener through the ride. This happens along tracks like “Aging Gracefully,” and “Pay It Back” which has the additional feature of tumbling circus horns and cascading strings.
Sometimes The Globe feels like a dissertation for a music composition class with its montage of different elements coming together and making unique sonic creations. But even with the album’s strong academic aptitude, The Silent Years still sound and feel like a band who writes songs for public enjoyment. The band makes music that feels inviting and keeps the listener’s attention throughout the album’s magic carpet ride.