It’s often hard to comprehend the talent that abounds in this country. Even here at Goldenplec, where we have a team dedicated to finding the best in Irish music, things slip by us. It’s not that we fail to recognise the talent or skill. It’s just there is so much talent swimming in the Irish pool that it’s very hard to catch all of it.
It’s no surprise to us then when a band like Silent Noise Parade, who we knew little of before our Coast to Coast Tea and Toast adventure, turns up with a fine debut, mouth-filling album ‘Electric Lives and The Nightmare That Follows’. Full of electro pop goodness, the album sees Silent Noise Parade wearing their influences on their sleeves. Crystal Castles, Depeche Mode, MGMT and The Naked And Famous, all mentioned by the band on their Facebook page, can all be heard somewhere in the eleven tracks.
Opener Electric Priestess is a fine example. From the first time you hear it, there’s something familiar about it. It’s a poppy, catchy earworm that would readily sit along anything you’re likely to hear from MGMT, both in terms of sound and quality. There are changes of pace that occur occasionally throughout the album, nearly always to great effect. Dancers, perhaps the highlight of the album, shifts through several different gears, and back again, with every transition a smooth and rewarding one. Brazen Angels too has a thrilling instrumental chorus that comes on unexpectedly to sound like Faithless at their best. At under two and a half minutes it leaves you wanting more.
That can’t be said for a few of the other songs on the album however. In the likes of My Machine and Young Adults, for example, all of the good ideas are thrown into the first minute. After that, it seems to be a matter of copy and paste. All these ideas are good – if an album were judged purely on song intros, this would be a classic – but it becomes frustrating that they aren’t adequately built on. My Machine particularly could have done with being 90 seconds shorter.
There is also a question of flow through the album. Gasp Awe, which begins as a fantastic 8-bit Crystal Castles homage but takes a bit of a slide in the second half, comes after the far more staid, Owl City reminiscent We Used to Drink. It’s not that there is anything wrong with either song; it’s just that they don’t seem to belong on the same album.
Despite those complaints, ‘Electric Lives and The Nightmare That Follows’ is a good collection of songs and Silent Noise Parade a band with great talent and gift for invention. If they could harness it a little better, they could be great.