Label: Full Time Hobby
Released: 21st January 2022
Since the release of their debut album back in July 2020, Irish indie-rock group Silverbacks have been carefully documenting every facet of the bizarre zeitgeist we’ve been enduring, transforming it into their second release, ‘Archive Material’.
Founders / guitarists / brothers, Kilian and Daniel O’Kelly have made a conscious effort to create a record that is as current and relevant as it is energised with the momentum of a live show. The result is twelve tracks that act as an anthropological recording of life during a pandemic, only ineffably more enjoyable than the experience it catalogues.
With lyrical storytelling, each song embodies a new personality with expressive guitar accompaniments which match perfectly. ‘Rolodex City’, ‘Central Tones’ and ‘Recycle Culture’ see guitars erratically filling the sound space for an irresistible sense of chaos. One thing that remains throughout is Daniel’s sardonic post-punk vocals that flip between subjects like a wild revue of modern society. “The decline of western civilisation / I read it on the back of a t-shirt / I shared a fridge with another man.” The flitting lyricism makes it impossible to lose interest, and Daniel’s ability to switch from deadpan The Stranglers-esque vocals into impassioned yelling makes for a rich and varied sound across the album.
Silverbacks have expanded on the tone of their debut record with a larger focus on production depth rather than just recreating the atmosphere of their concerts. The tracks on ‘Archive Material’ don’t give you a moment to get comfortable and become more complicated as they mature, adding new elements like the surprising woodwind interlude on ‘Wear My Medals’ or mellowed synth solo in ‘I’m Wild’.
If Silverbacks’ intentions were to document the last 18 insane months through a tripped out art-rock record, their mission has been clearly accomplished on ‘Archive Material’, an album that wouldn’t feel out of place on our grandchildren’s history GCSE papers.