In 2009, the world found a new love for garage pop and garage rock artists, from the gritty, raw, lo-fi noise to the more experimental. Some of the most loved artists channeled a sound common to 80s indie-pop and the twee movement. Surprisingly, one band that seemed to get overlooked was The Silent Boys, a band neither new nor channeling. They were part of that original movement, and they continue to pump out great tunes that hint of their early years.
I first became aware of The Silent Boys in 2007 upon the release of their album One Step Closer (one of these days I’ll get around to republishing that review). In 2009, the timing was perfectly set for Progression: 1986-1991, a ‘best-of’ album of sorts compiling favorites from The Silent Boys’ early years, as they formed in the mid-80s and went on hiatus in ’91. That break lasted a solid seven years before the band joined forces once again to create music.
The good news was that, despite the vast changes in music that occurred throughout the 90s and even the 00s, The Silent Boys retained their early sound. Thus, their releases, from the 2004 album Beauty Tips through Progression, and very likely this year’s album Princess By The Sea, The Silent Boys are consistent in producing lo-fi, pop-friendly garage rock.
And where Progression favors that truly gritty, almost punk sound, the band’s more modern releases see the band paying homage to their past while progressing into true indie-pop. There’s a little more production, a little less lo-fi, and, to be expected, a great deal more maturity (yet they’re no less playful than they were in the ’80s). You can hear traces of their influences throughout their work, from Joy Division in “I Wanted To Hear You” and “Remember”, to The Field Mice in “Country Punk”.
Princess By The Sea was slated for a February release, but it’s been pushed back a few months due to still being in production. States Wallace Dietz about the album:
Princess By The Sea actually pre-dates Beauty Tips… I think some of the songs are among our best ever (esp “Princess by the Sea”).
The album never got a proper release, as Dietz was never comfortable with how the original turned out. Lucky for us, the band is re-working a few of the tracks and we’ll finally get to hear it later this spring, or maybe early this summer.
The Silent Boys have released four albums since their return: Beauty Tips (2004), Wishing Well Eyes (2006), One Step Closer (2007), and Progression (2009). Princess By The Sea (2010) will be their fifth. All (with exception to the forthcoming) are available in their CD Baby store.