The sad thing about this recording in that in no way captures the intensity or impressive nature of the band, especially after one has seen them live three or four time. However, this is a strong step in a direction where a great many of these nascent local scenes need to go in cataloging their music, even if it is only on a CDR (as Nothing Special is). The recording is noisy and compressed, and the band here simultaneously goes toward something very mature in the arrangement of their songs but struggles in the pace of a number of their songs. Another bugaboo that really holds the band back is the oppressive mastering of the guitars in relation to the vocals – and I can understand where Silver in December wants to have their vocals loud and clear, but the guitars are so stamped down that it feels as if the band just turned up the fuzz and allowed it to go unabated. The songs on the disc are not bad in any sort of the term, but the mastering tries its best to make it seem like they are. Before I get too down on the recording though, one thing needs to be cleared up: if I understand the story right, this was done at a “professional” studio. If this is the case though, maybe the studio should spend some time back in the bush leagues.
Now, onto the music specifically: in “Take My Life If You Take Your Own”, the major issue comes in the case of the main vocals which do not have the confidence that is necessary from the heart-wrenching emotions of the average emo bands. In this track, the vocals quaver just the slightest and the tenuous grip that the band has on the track is really lost. The guitar bridges that compromise such a large part of the track really are done well, to Silver in December’s credit, and the skill that they show in maintaining some modicum of interest even with such a slender tendril of sound well outpaces the years they have spent behind their instruments. Silver in December’s new disc does not do the band justice, and their rigorous tour schedule should indicate that they will make it out to places unknown this summer. If their name is on the bill, take a shot with them and chances are that one will not be disappointed.
Top Tracks: I Was Thinking About You When I Wrote This
Silver in December – Nothing Special EP / 2005 Self-Released / 3 Tracks / http://silverindecember.tripod.com/ Reviewed 23 March 2005