Review: The Silence Kit – Dislocations

Philadelphia’s The Silence Kit are now on to their third album in four years, although it probably wouldn’t be too harsh to say they haven’t looked much beyond the early 1980’s for their influences. ‘Dislocations’ wears its references on its sleeve very clearly but if you enjoyed the post-punk and gothic music scene, they’re one of the better acts around today.

Indeed, ‘Dislocations’ generally avoids pastiche and is not without its experimental touches. ‘Bad Months’ adds atmospheric swirling effects and hats off too for ‘Your Mistakes’; where they come closest to the downbeat elegance of Joy Division. Elsewhere, ‘Make Your Time’ masters slow-paced gothic drama but it’s on the faster songs where The Silence Kit seem to be having the best time. ‘Let There Be No Hurt’ is infused by the murkiness of early Cure records but the band turn it into something far more intense. ‘Five Seconds’ is better still, with ringing guitars and driving rhythms pushing the song into the realms of excellence.

The Silence Kit have their flaws; frontman Patrick McCay’s vocals lack true personality and the music itself is essentially a hybrid of any number of post-punk acts. Additionally. a few songs (namely ‘Spent Too Long Waiting’) seem so weighed down with misery it’s almost suffocating. So it’s something of a relief when ‘The Magician’ arrives; an altogether lighter song with a relatively upbeat melody that recalls none other than 60’s British Beat groups.

Overall, ‘Dislocations’ balances thrills with funereal levels of despair. Yet McCay’s band play with great conviction, making this record their best album yet.

Web Sites:
The Silence Kit Official Site
The Silence Kit MySpace

Further Listening:
The Cure, Bell Hollow, Echo And The Bunnymen, The Stills

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