Quiet Child from Adelaide, Australia, plays combat-ready progressive rock that owes a good deal of its lineage to Muse and Radiohead. Despite their major influences being major players in shaping contemporary sounds of alternative rock, Quiet Child, with their excellent use of musical friction and release, craft a listening experience that's far more different, I think, than their peers.
The band is a standard four-piece: Pete and Ash on guitar, Brent on bass, and Ryan on drums. But they get so much music out of their instruments it's ridiculous. The music on their EP The Coming Storm mostly stays at progressive rock levels with lengthy instrumental passages often dominated by a heavy guitar sound, but they easily melt into metal or out right psychedelia. "Cannonfire March" is a forceful blend of neoclassical composition with metal guitar riffs and thunderous percussion. I'm more partial to songs like "0400." It's just amenable to being radio-friendly, but there's no denying the thoughtful drumming and glam-rock guitar lines. Whatever song they play, you can tell they're dead set on making an impression (of your silhouette burned against a cement wall). The sublime keyboard paranoia of "In Out,” heavily punctured by fiery guitars, for example, trumps some of the Radiohead songs it emulates.
Lyrically, the songs are pretty sparsely populated, given their length. But Quiet Child manages to say very much with very little, infusing their lyrics with imagery both subtle and stark. On "Hotel Shade" vocalist Pete quietly moans, "I dream a formless wish/Set against faded 70's lime/Cigarette burns in the shape of half smiles in the carpet." I mean, who writes like that anymore? Inertia is also explored in the piano-in-a-funeral-parlor "Ghost Town:” A paperweight made of gold/A death I could control, if I thought you were coming home" sounds like it was recorded in a monastery.
Quiet Child fill me with hope for the psychedelic scene wanting in, well, psychedelia. Sadly, their future is not to be. As of Sept. 1, Quiet Child announced on Facebook they were calling it quits. Dammit, that makes the album even more beautiful, and its name darkly ironic, because for all its mournful music, rays of optimism cut through the gloom and give the music a sense of expectation rather than longing.
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