“Pretty Girl” should be the sonic signpost for Silence Will Kill You, the overly urgent debut from Brit-rock trio Some Velvet Morning. This entry, their third single, struts tautly and trashily, like an effortless Franz Ferdinand b-side. Vocalist Des Lambert admiringly makes eyes at a dicey joint’s diamond-in-the–rough (“What’s a pretty girl doing in a place like this”?) as a coiled guitar chug propels the chorus. The dimly lit, sexual energy of “Pretty Girl”, though, is an outlier on Silence Will Kill You whose fleshy temptations are regularly more sinful than impulsively fun. Fitful nods elsewhere—to Coldplay on the star-gazing “Stone Cold”, early and recent (i.e. bombastic) Muse on “Godless” and “One Day” respectively, and Paul McCartney on the hamlet-humble closer “The Madness of Crowds”—soak the rest of Silence in competent conventionality. Indeed, even in their derivative bouts, S.V.M. doesn’t descend into rank amateurism. Their abilities are simply misapplied, especially with clumsy, self-serious forays into the political (“Propaganda” and “Godless”, once again). Consult Travis and Bloc Party on the wisdom of broaching war and peace. The right move for these world-stage newcomers is to match those wine-dark rhythms with the guiltless pleasure and frills of a sauced jaunt through modern life. Some Velvet Morning: mine your inner Franz.
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