Silver Summit
"Silver Summit"

(Language of Stone 2008)Silver Summit - Silver Summit

You know that new self-titled Beach House album, the one you can't stop listening to? Well, Silver Summit's self-titled album sounds like that. Kinda. If maybe Beach House listened to way more Blonde Redhead instead of--whomever the fuck they listen to.

But here's the thing, listening to the Silvers (or the Summit, whatever the hardcore fans call them) I am reminded of what Bob Pollard reportedly said about Yo La Tengo. To paraphrase: a chick, a fat guy and a rock critic--there's no way these guys rock. Well, minus the fat guy, that's Silver Summit. Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist David Shawn Bosler is a staff writer at the Village Voice where, under the usual byline D. Shawn Bosler, he writes about, you know, music and stuff. So that's the deck, stacked against them. (Although the singer is pretty and Asian, so there's points.)

The waltzy rhythms and circular repetitions of gypsy music and Scots-Irish folk are scattered throughout "Silver Summit," and while I appreciate the nuance of a band that doesn't succumb to the easy hook, one can only listen to Fairport Convention's spooky grandkids before it's time to yawn and reach for the channel changer.

The textures, the instrumentation, the overall ambience of the album are all undeniably lovely. The songs themselves, however, are pretty forgettable. It's like--and forgive me for getting all high-brow--what architecture critics have said about The New York Times building: on the outside it's elegant, smart, very now; on the inside, same old, same old. Blahsville.

But I have hope for this band. I have faith that some upheaval at the Voice will leave Bosler unemployed and miserable, with time to focus on songcraft instead of his sweet guitar tone and Oud scales. Two albums from now, Silver Summit will deliver an album. Something with blood and guts--not just 37 minutes of pretty sound/weird sound/pretty sound/weird sound.

B-

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