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In a world that doesn’t seem capable of swaying, Silver Synthetic’s self-titled debut shakes and boogies.
In the midst of the thick New Orleans summer of 2017, Chris Lyons of garage punks Bottomfeeders found himself sitting on a small batch of songs that didn’t quite fit the fuzzed-out pileups of that band. He called in his trusted confidants: Bottomfeeders drummer and longtime musical partner Lucas Bogner plus
bassist Pete Campanelli, and Kunal Prakash (Jeff the Brotherhood) dug the songs and signed on, and the quartet started playing in earnest.
By the time the band played its first gig in late 2018 at the opening of Nola’s ManRay Records, the songs had multiplied and the members of the newly christened Silver Synthetic had become genuine rock & roll craftsmen.
It makes sense that the band’s first gig was in a record shop ‘cause folks, this is record nerd-core in a major way, evocative of the LP's first golden era, as the late sixties oozed into the strange 1970s, with the requisite T-Rex stomps, Britfolk twists and turns, and dueling Verlaine/Lloyd guitars. It’s about warmth, and you can practically smell the gently glowing amp tubes.
While many of their peers would be lost without their daisy-chained and tangled pedal-boards, there’s a refreshing directness here, unassuming but confident, the result of a band deliberately not fussing too much over the thing, maintaining a connection to the feeling of hearing a well balanced two-guitar/bass/drums combo at a house show.
And it kinda was a house show. The album was recorded with Ross Farbe of Video Age, who lugged his mobile rig over to Lyons’ place in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans. With the band set up in the living room the crew got down to business, striving to adhere to the live, honest approach. Minimal overdubs, dialed in tone, a good vibe.
You could call Silver Synthetic rock & roll formalists, but the truth is they're more like minimalists, stripping away tired clutter and unnecessary bloat and just zooming in on the essential.