Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Silvertrain - Nine Lives EP

Hear The Track Here

Every once in a while, this reviewing malarky showers me with real world favours in the shape of CD's of all stripes and varieties. Also, every once in a while, I take it upon myself to bring these shiny beauties to your attention - even though you'll have to shell out hard earned ackers (Ed: money, loot, spondulix, wonga, wedge et al) to get your own version. It's that reason why I don't bring EVERY CD to your attention (I've only ever given Silvertrain, Maria Daines and OnOffOn these reviews). Because I understand that you are all poor as church mice, starving in your garrets and all that artistic shit, it's best that I only single out the best - as it were. As I mentioned, Silvertrain had this honour dumped on them from a great height when I reviewed their first studio CD The One To Blame way back in the summer of 2004. It's kind of fitting then that - almost exactly two years later - I get to introduce you to their latest, all new selection. This time it comes in the shape of a 4 track audio CD and a video all for the measly sum of 3.5 GBP (or $7 or so). All the tracks are also available (for listen only) on their Soundclick page or from the band's official site

Nine Lives
I already reviewed this track once (November 2004) but as you can imagine it's undergone some changes since then. Essentially I heard the barest bones of a song that I knew they'd grow into and the only advice I had was not to lose the emotional punch of the song. Shoulda know better than even to bring it up, because it's that musical vulnerability (in sound and feel) that has always been a Silvertrain trademark, and is at the heart of this track and proof positive that guys REALLY should be doing this in the real world - for real. Classic song with a classic treatment. Solid enjoyment. For the merest hint of how good it is, check out the version on their Soundclick page.

Good People
T'wouldn't be a Silvertrain product though, unless that same songwriting quality were applied to a hefty pair of rock and roll testicular implants and that's where Good People comes in. A head banging wall of sound hammers you into the floor while the excellently mixed vocals raise your spirit to an inch above your head. This should be mainlined to anyone in need of an instant pickup.

Over the past two years I have noticed a distinct toughening of the songwriting style; a much more pointed affair these days and that has leaked over into the music. All of the tracks on this CD are pretty muscular and Empty is one of the hardest; in sound and feel. Where the first two tracks are standard Silvertrain vocally, the anger and passion of Empty is amply shown by the excellent vocal (courtesy of Ritchie) and the song lyrics. One to savour, and a track I predict will have the longest legs.

The End
The real highlight and standout track is The End by a country mile. If there is any track that shows what this amazingly popular Soundclick artist has to offer its this one. Full of trademark Silvertrain traits, the vocals, the delivery, the sheer JOY these guys can put into a track. It also happens to rock like nobody's business and sounds like the hit it rightly deserves to be. When I reviewed the original track (September 2006) I said this would do the trick for the EP and it's nice to see that my Highly Recommended got put to good use, because this track is just knockout - ESPECIALLY in the video version included on this CD (a film by Max Sobel)

Music like this is worth every penny. MUST HAVE (even for starving artistic types)

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