Silo Hill – Spinoff of the Knockoff of the Sequel to the Blues
Genre: Lo-fi Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Even the most depressing sort of pop music requires a tinge of humour to be bearable. Elliott Smith certainly had this in vast quantities. The jokes though were quite dark and, most often than not, he was the protagonist. It was gallows humour where the person telling the joke has their head in the noose.
It may sound depressing, but it’s the truth and the people behind that kind of art would have been the first to admit it. These artists were their own private experiments let loose on a world guaranteed to flood them with useless empathy. If it all sounds a bit heartbreaking, it’s because they intended for it to sound that way.
Silo Hil’s excellently titled Spinoff of the Knockoff of the Sequel to the Blues shares in the morbid humour with which some of the clever songwriters of old who always seemed to end up on the losing end have got us used to. The melodies are gorgeous, the singing sounds like the tune of a man facing execution and it’s all just too pretty for such a cold and heartless world. You’re allowed to smile or tap your foot if you wish. The author would approve.
UmbrÆternal – Outside Reality
Genre: Gothic / Dark Wave
Once those little hours are in, after drinks have been spilt and friendships reconfirmed, older heads from a music scene will tell you how they really feel. One of the subjects always up for debate involves one or another highly successful group or artist that never really deserved that success. There will always be people claiming to have warranted more attention than they received.
One such group, when it comes to the goth community is The Cure, by far the most famous of the bands associated with the style. Was Robert Smith successful because his band was better than other goth groups? No, they were successful because they could switch between goth, prog rock, pop, or stadium-rock, delivering the goods to millions of people, yet somehow never-ending up looking ridiculous in their pursuit of fame.
UmbrÆternal’s Outside Reality has that crossover quality. In their case, just as with Robert Smith, this does not feel like a calculated, cynical gesture. However, make no mistake about it, this is the kind of sound that can fill a large arena and the kind of melodies that would get even a kindergarten class humming along. Your high school philosophy teacher never made things this interesting, I would bet.