Review Summary: Bloated and same-y, fresh ideas come out to play often, but they soon fall into mediocrity and repetitiveness.4 of 5 thought this review was well written
The Silent Comedy are a San Diego based quartet who fuse Folk, Rock, Blues, Gospel, Americana and just about everything in between to create a sassy meld of hearty, toe tapping music to sombre ballads. The band aren’t well recognised, despite receiving considerable attention in the media, having their songs used in multiple trailers to promote both video games and television programs, also winning a ‘Best Pop Album’ award in 2010 for this album; Common Faults. Here they demonstrate a sound that they’ve managed to execute seemingly well, but in essence it feels bloated and a futile effort to create a cohesive album.
The album feels like a collection of songs rather than a solid piece of music overall. When judging each song alone outside the context of the album, it’s easy to see what there is to enjoy, but when listened to in its entirety, it’s confusing and a little off putting. It’s disjointed; it sounds overly ambitious and pretentious. Instead of merging their ideas all together, they seem to take a stab at a new sound with each song, lacking the solidarity a good album needs, and that this one craves.
The album starts off well, a short sung intro with some light instrumentation, then leading into a strong track, which is very reminiscent of Clutch. The next song follows the same pattern, as the first, a solid Bluesy song that fits with the context of the first. This is where the album takes a turn for the worse; the next song is a Gospel track with significant Bluegrass influence to be heard and every song from here on out doesn’t fit the context of the last, all throwing in different sounds and influences.
I feel that if this album was thought through more carefully, it could have been pieced together the right way. The songs feel like a puzzle that needs to be arranged correctly to grant that feeling of unity, but in the end, despite all that I’ve said, they seem to lack originality in each department. When they play Blues Rock, all the songs that follow the same influence sound the same. When they play Folk, all the songs that follow the same influence sound the same. When they’re incorporating their Bluegrass styles in, it all sounds like the exact same thing over and over again. An album that has so much variation and so many different styles employed that sounds completely like itself multiple times in as little as forty minutes, yet still doesn’t sound cohesive. I don’t know how they pulled it off.
All in all, an admirable effort, and short enough for it to be enjoyable. The Silent Comedy have taken everything they want to sound like, thrown it in a box and shaken it a little. Lacklustre and lacking lust, this album feels void of any legitimate thought, and left with little to no replay value. I think I understand now why they’re not so popular, and it’s because they’re forgettable.