Album Review: Silverbacks – Fad

Dublin’s Silverbacks are emerging as one of the most exciting bands coming out of Ireland at the moment: and there are quite a few.

Their new album ‘Fad’ is a brilliant collection of raw, visceral and emotive tracks that fuses the punk sensibilities of compatriots like Fontaines D.C. with a more melodic and complex palette. There is a raw and nervous energy throughout – tracks that teeter along at a frenetic pace laced with a poetic brilliance that captures contemporary society in a sardonic and world-weary manner.

Opening track, ‘Dunkirk’ is a delicious ambling journey with sardonic vocals lashing out both poetically and threatening. There is an ominous dark edge to the lyrics and instrumentation. According to the band:

The song is about a character who is questioning the life they have been dealt. They find themselves in a near dystopian future where Dunkirk, despite its history, has become a built-up holiday destination for young families.

‘Pink Tides’ is a another vehicle for the raw expressive vocals and the bubbling incisive guitars with a soaring chorus:

Silverbacks are a band that is hard to define – they sound at times in the same genre as the legendary Tom Tom Club with percussion and rippling guitars at the fore. They have the same exclamatory urgency as fellow Dubliners Fontaines DC and The Murder Capital and yet in songs like the single ‘Muted Gold’ there is a modern new wave eclecticism and intelligence of bands like Arcade Fire:

And it is not all poetic lines spat out in anger over a music bedrock – songs like ‘Kleb Silberücken’ and ‘Up The Nurses’ show that Silverbacks can do melodic rock with aplomb, albeit with the same sense of urgency.

‘Just in the Band’ is a frenetic cacophony featuring the razor-edged guitar wall of sound and changes in pace – and apparently written about Iggy Pop and David Bowie’s friendship.

The ultra brief ‘Madre Uisce’, with its complex guitar runs, puts on display Silverbacks’s high level of musicianship. The album ends with ‘Last Orders’ – screw the system before it screws you – and leaves us with a lasting impression of a band that is self-deprecatory and full of confidence – filled with humour and witty observations delivered in a melodic package that is almost Clash-like in its rawness.

‘Fad’ is a frenetic, poetic tour de force and is out now through Central Tones Records and available here or direct from the band through the link below:

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