I really hate it when bands do the Slowdive thing. How can you possibly write bad things about such sweet melodies? Wait, Slowdive didn’t really have melodies per say, except on a few songs like “Alison.” Excuse me. Silver Screen sound very pretty. How can you be totally critical about such a beautiful voice? One that utilized “no pitch correction or auto-tuning devices” to create that sweet croon, as the linear notes so helpfully point out. How can I reject this seemingly one man show (Cris Miller) who wrote, played and produced all of the songs on this disc?
“This album is dedicated to my mom and dad,Thanks for having me.”
See?! He’s just too sweet. And so’s the music. Clairecords is touting one of their other acts, Sciflyer, as a return to and progression of the British shoegaze sound, but that band doesn’t have anything on Silver Screen. First of all, shoegaze isn’t going anywhere until there is a complete rebuilding of the genre’s fundamental qualities (which is being done, thank you very much, M83). So the bands that are sticking to the guitar drone and ethereal half melody thing aren’t fooling anyone when they proclaim that all has been saved. I don’t need the crazy tunings and cheap assed throwback to gritty early shoegaze like Sciflyer’s offerings. Unless you’re M83 or Jesu or *whisper* Starflyer 59, the only type of shoegaze you should be making is the kind that is more accurately described as dream pop. Sure it might be easily forgettable today, but at least it’s sweet, fun and romantic. Thank you Silver Screen for following the (my) rules.
So yeah they’ve kind of doomed themselves by embracing this style, but all the more pretty nights for me. See, I’ve got a special little section in my CD collection reserved for these types of bands. Bands that sound absolutely gorgeous but don’t really and truly deserve a spot on the record shelf. I save them for late night drives. For my next girlfriend. For the next time I don’t feel like listening to anything that requires effort. The first track on this CD is a song called “Ahh Ahh” and it sounds exactly the way that that title suggests. The next track “Won’t You Ever Know” is so pretty all you have to do is download it and you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. “She Counts the Rain” is a (get ready) long lost 80’s slow dance dream pop gem. Fucking exactly like Slowdive. On “You Said” a female takes over vocal duties (I guess it wasn’t all Cris) and it sounds, well, wonderful. But the overall effect of this music is more important then the actual songs (which are beautiful and yes, for the most part noticeably different from each other). And that ain’t a bad thing at all. Just know that I keep this special pile of CD’s hidden from most of the general public that enters my pad. I don’t want to seem wussy.
Solid. And I’m not just saying that. Damn it.
- Andrew Iliadis