Silence Kit

Silence Kit

/self-released; 2003/




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Once you get past the superfluous 5 minute long drone which opens the album, you discover a great band whose musical range spreads from noise-pop to post-rock endowed with a great propensity to creating appealing melodies which have something cold and restrained to them. This feeling is brilliantly illustrated by the building and its reflection in the austere front sleeve. Silence Kit comes from Moscow, Russia, and is probably named after a Pavement song but this influence is not overwhelming at all. You sure can feel this scanty noise-pop style in ‘Francesca White’ but the song is surprisingly catchy and happily head-bopping. Their noise-pop songs incline towards American noise-pop bands such as Pavement, Guided by Voices or Superchunk. ‘Lunik’ is a great song endowed with pleasant slow-paced melancholy arpeggios but unfortunately the agitated part is disappointing not because of the quality of the passage but because of its distortions that sound 4-track.

SK likes long introductions and you often get the impression of 2 songs melted in 1 track, which is backed up by the titles (‘28+2’, ‘Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear / No=Fear’, the short and catchy instrumental entitled ‘Soul Departure’ sounds like an intro to the final epic track.). They worked on sequences, which makes the listening easier and gives a bonus to the post-rock formula they picked up in their Chicagoan, Glasgowian, or even Canadian listening: begin slowly, then build-up some tension by gradations and either let your energy explode in cathartic noise or stop the song right when you’ve reached the climax.
There is something high-sounding about the mid-tempo ‘Lunik Ceremony’ which evokes classical music as well as Canadian influence (and Ennio Morricone) we shall not discuss here… but there’s a bright dimension in the ending which sounds like the music to a movie scene when the hero finally sees the light at the end of the tunnel or just rescues his beloved. Silence Kit often improves its post-rock songs adding discreet synth or piano sounds and adding vocals where you don’t expect them (‘Two’ would have sounded too emphatic in a GYBE way without the vocals).
The last song is an epic change of moods alternating peaks and valleys during nearly 15 minutes: atmospheric, hypnotic, emphatic, then white noise chaos lingers during 2 minutes and the second part (‘No=fear’) starts with cryptic arpeggios that give way to tension. Then sadness comes as late night anxiety attacks, late night alcoholic thoughts when the vocals reappear again much to everyone’s surprise in an indolent English fashion that might be reminiscent of Ride for example. An expected final explosion closes the album.

Silence Kit is encrusted with an overall good sense of melody. It is definitely one of the best self-released material we have received so far. You may download the whole album from their website and as they put it: ‘when you pirate mp3s, you’re downloading communism…’


/july 1st 2003/