[4 August 2009]
The Silent Years continue to make good, quality music in relative obscurity. The band’s new EP, Let Go, offers more of its workmanlike indie rock—which is not to say it’s pedestrian. Rather, Josh Epstein and his band demonstrate, again, humility’s a likeable if unusual quality in a band; you can make good music—it turns out—without wearing it as a badge on your lapel. This six-song EP allows the group to investigate, within these familiar limits, a few new sounds—a swirling outer-space effect and the clash of a 4-on-3 polyrhythm—and apply it usefully to, say, the themes inherent in “Taking Drugs at the Amusement Park”. Familiar ‘90s indie rock icons like Jeff Buckley have, over the past few years, begun to weigh less on the Silent Years than Arcade Fire and the new crop of romantic, maximal bands of that ilk. Like the Veils, the Silent Years know that we’ll return after the noise and electronic trickery to melody. “Madame Shocking”, “Claw Marks” and the other tracks on this little EP take this idea and spin it out into gorgeous and often powerful orchestral rock.