Silence Kit

Silence Kit got me. If you’re a grunge fan, rock fan, garage band fan, loud music fan, anything 90’s rock fan, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.

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You’d never expect to hear such an incredible voice in the 2010’s. I mean, the 16-year-old me listening to nothing written after my birth would be astounded. The singer comes out with a strong voice, but raspy and creepy, dark in many ways but still full and thick. She’s got ferocity. You’re going to hear that song no matter where you’re standing, and it’s going to sound like a melody ripped from a siren’s heart on the banks of the River Styx, no longer an enchanting song of pleasure but rather a beautiful wail of something treacherous. Very raw, real, and emotive.

It sort of looks like that, too. Lots of body movement, facial expression and dramatic dancing bring a pretty legit performative element. I mean, I can only imagine what that does with someone’s energy. There were moments she looked tired, torn, spent, and others where she looked in turmoil, chaotic, and just plain powerful. Definitely a full effort, you know?

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Of course, it wouldn’t happen without the whole band pouring their guts out. The instrumentals of Silence Kit are anything but silent (duh right? no wonder). If you want to take a tip from the name, figure it’s ironic in some way, and then expect the kind of orchestrated noise that walks melody down a fine line between energetic gruff guitar sounds and overwhelming loud grit. I mean, they could have been louder, but any louder and I’d have to back up a bit. And you don’t want to back up from the stage watching this band.

Don’t be fooled if they start soft. They have a nice rock cycle going on in most songs, where the bass lays a thick groundwork of riffy goodness, and then the guitar and drums gradually (or sometimes quickly) escalate things to the point of just making me want to shout. Consistent tempo and punchy lines in the rhythm section make for moving songs, ones that grab and pull you along, keep you moving with the time and bringing you to the next part with ease.

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Everyone gets moving around a lot. The bassist seems almost as performative as the singer. Refreshing to see. The guitar brings another level of tenderness to their songs at time, offering a still loud and dark and vicious tone, but with real intention. You can hear it’s deliberate. And each note brings a different sense to the song, another vantage point over the broader soundscape. A distinct voice that speaks more slowly, but still with a heart of something dark and gritty.

Personally I know a variety of pains in my life have brought an equally wide capacity for understanding. And so the sounds of struggle, tones resembling fight and anger and resilience or just pain, the raw grit of grungy music like this make sense. Bring back something I learned from. Grew through. And I feel like I can hear that in Silence Kit. There’s such a raw, emotive element that looks like something warped or torn, rugged, ragged, or wretched, something innerly human. It’s got gravity. And they make it sound so damn rock and roll.

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Maybe I caught an especially emotional show. It was my first time seeing them, though I knew they’ve been playing shows and rocking socks off for a while. They’re headed on tour now and I’m pretty sure they’ll do pretty well. I mean, something about their sound has a sense of familiarity, and I think that’s what gets me most. Either way, you’ll have to judge for yourself.

 

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