Silvery – Thunderer and Excelsior
A silhouette of an Uhlan (wearing a gas mask and the 1916 coalscuttle helmet) graces the cover. The sleeve notes allow the band to revel in quirky asides and monikers. So far so good; there’s an optimistic energy inherent here, and it’s something that drives the set; which (in the main) is unashamed left-field pop that owes a lot to Sparks.
Nowt wrong with that; the fuzziness and energy pull tracks like Warship Class and Devil in the Detail through. I like these glam pop affectations; the music’s got a groove and it’s got attitude. And if you don’t like a particular song, don’t worry, they don’t stick around too long. The whole thing just needs a kick further, maybe an intensive fool around with the odd refrain or minor chord sequence. Or maybe the band should allow another side apart from the (admittedly enjoyable) cartoony bluster to develop. Penny Dreadful works well in this respect, maybe because it allows itself time to breathe. It’s also got a great tail-out.
There are some great songs on here; Star of the Sea is a psychotic knees up par excellence, and the tremendous Animals are Vanishing is a creepy stomp that has a feel of a music hall chorus to it. This is more like it.
Very interesting, if a little too ‘brazen’ and chirpy.
Words: Richard Foster