The first thing that popped into my head while listening to the new album Movements by The Silhouette Era was this is classic indie rock from the 90’s. The tricks they have up their sleeve for this album have been done before by The PIxies, early Modest Mouse and about every band on Touch and Go records. It never feels like it’s a carbon copy of any particular band but just seems another great band from that era.
The Silhouette Era began was a solo project for Carlos J Gonzalez but he was quickly joined by friends James Findlay (drums) and Clayton Payton (bass). According to Gonzalez the album is about a topic all of us could relate to at some point in our lives – letting go of youth and coming into adulthood. It’s a ubiquitous topic and the emotional resonance of the album aligns with the subject matter. Everything from nostalgia, to melancholy to hope is conveyed in these songs providing a full spectrum of feelings one may possess while transitioning to an adult.
The album starts with a short instrumental piece called “Contemporary Movements,” which is substantial yet short consisting of J Mascis-inspired guitar parts. The meat and potatoes of the album begin with “The Comeback,” which is an all-around quintessential indie pop song. Catchy vocals, solid song structure and pragmatic parts make for a good all-around song. Gonzalez seemed to be yearning for the synapses in his brain to function the same way as they did in his youth as he sings “Damn the comeback Longing for a time when life was electric Have the lights gone out.”
One of the highlights on the album is “Vagrants,” which is laced in melancholy but also interweaves moments of nostalgia. Gonzalez again reverts to the theme of the album as he sings “Replace the feeling i used to get / Let's stay away from each other.”
The album closes with one of the slowest songs on the album but arguable the most powerful called “The Plastic Gun.” Towards the end the band is epically rocking before it slowly fades away to a solo organ. The ending made sense. It was triumphant, nostalgic, a bit chaotic and also a possible unintentional metaphor for how we change into adulthood.
Movements isn't without its flaws but it has a lot that fans of indie rock will embrace.
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