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Silver Shadows

Cold Plastic

Volar
LP $16.35

03/17/2017

 


SILVER SHADOWS seem so-named because, since forming in 2013, they've illuminated and charged dark places—Oakland squats and warehouses, dim-lit San Francisco basements—with kinetic streaks of melody and beaming vocal harmonies. Cold Plastic, the group’s debut full-length, captures and vivifies the dark luster, fidgety propulsion, and circuitous melodies that distinguish Silver Shadows as a live band. Touchstones include the enveloping choral sensibility of Grass Widow, plus the texture and introspection of Pacific Northwest outfits such as Broken Water. 4AD flag bearers loom in the narcotic murk, though not much more than the homespun pop groups on Flying Nun. Which is to say, comparisons fall short. The choppy post-punk disjunct of “Crowned” and “Own the Night” abuts intermingling expanses of guitar and keyboard on “Fragile Dawn.” “Concrete miles” is frenetic and incisive. “What’s the Reason,” a simmering slow burn. The lyrics, delivered by three lead vocalists within the group, are fittingly allusive, embedding evocative imagery within sci-fi themes (among their influences is the writer Ursula K. LeGuin). The instrumentation is dense and saturated, glinting aurora-like at all times though not at the expense of melodic invention. Cold Plastic, recorded by EVAN HASHI and BRIAN TESTER at New Improved Recordings, follows an eponymous 12” EP released to warm reception in 2014 by Gilgongo Records.

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