This band from Santa Barbara delivers a very strong album; this being their sophomoric effort. And this second album comes a decade after the band had split – glad to hear they decided to reform, as this is quite, quite good. The operative word here, which is bound to be repeated, is “melodic” – heavy on the melodies; terrific on the structure of the songs, good production/sound – an all-around winner. John Nygren is a fine singer, songwriter and knows how to sew a song together. Some intricate work here – and a great listen.
“Sugar High” is epic; with build up, harmonies galore and some tasteful guitar work – glorious. “Rigging The Meters” chugs along with nice, taut beats and tension that works to the dramatic build up of the song’s end with the repetitive guitar riff that sticks in your head. I should say right here that there are elements that I can hear in the arrangement in some of the vocals, especially on some of the backing harmonies that immediately call to mind The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn – and you’ve got to be pretty good to approximate that. There are also strong indicators of psychedelia with the guitars – in a lot of ways, I kept hearing some of my beloved Rain Parade in there. “Bumper Crop” is as fine a pop song I’ve heard in a while; I know the vocals may have reminders in some places of the excruciating Chris Martin, but the difference is that you can actually feel an emotion in the vocals here. “Painting The Cave”, the album’s opener, takes hold quickly with its lush arrangement and clean sound. “N.O.D.” is catchy, upbeat and classic “radio friendly”.
Keep your eyes and ears open for Silent Partner; this is one to savor and enjoy.
Silent Partner will be released on June 17th, 2014