Like most groups influenced by Radiohead, the Silent Years try to make atmosphere another instrument. The liners for the Detroit-area quartet's full-length debut note six, 10 and 14 instruments for each member things like shruti boxes and space echo appearing alongside the usual complement of guitars, bass, drums and keys. But while Radiohead often uses technology and effects to create claustrophobia, Silent Years believe in better living through sound odd noises and soft bumps in the night course through songs such as "No Secrets," "Someone to Keep Us Warm" and "Devil Got My Woman," and Josh Epstein's occasional vocal resemblance to Jeff Buckley only makes them even more pleasantly disorienting. (Cryptic, ear-catching lyrical turns complete the picture.) But all the recordings of birdsongs in the world ("Lidocaine") won't matter if the songcraft isn't strong, and fortunately the Silent Years have that covered too. It takes a few listens for their thing to really click, but, once it does, the melodies freshen like spring flowers and you appreciate the restraint Silent Years display throughout, because it's clear that no one is trying to sound too grand on their big national debut. The upbeat songs just hit a sweet spot similar to Guster, and the experiments with atmosphere quietly engross. This is a pop album with depth, and that's a nice thing for a band to add to its list.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.