Album Review – Tilt​-​A​-​Whirl by The Silent Boys (2020) (Self released)

In the album bio, singer / guitarist Wallace Dietz succinctly states:

Tilt-A-Whirl’ will have a different vibe from earlier Silent Boys albums:

“It will still retain a vintage sound, but the listener will detect some new and different influences. And while it may be the most mature album we’ve ever done, I’m not ready to concede my immaturity just yet!

In fact it is the above tension between maturity and youth that causes the irresistable fraction in this album, as two distinct styles fail to merge in that perfect way that the vocalists in The Go-Betweens had to bring their very specific ‘own thing’ to an overall aesthetic.

The ‘maturity’ is represented by the sense of grandiose that only those of more experienced years can really purvey. Such an essence is seen in tracks such as Monsters in My Head and Simplicity with their interrupting, ostentatious 80’s electric guitars. Similarly, the melancholic orchestration of the quite brilliant Lawrence of Arabia (see below) and the semi robotic post-punk of Silencing City have their own sense of massive.

The Silent Boys have always done things their own way, seemingly whenever the mood has arisen. However, the above tracks are just more bombastic and reeking of ‘deserved egotism’, in the same manner as ageing male Doctor’s tends to speak with the sort of booming baritone that exudes the confidence of ‘years’. It’s almost a right and one that The Silent Boys are finally claiming.

Thankfully, the more youthful ying to the ego’s yang. is still very much what this act are famed for. As such their precious, jangly indie-pop courses the slightly lo-fi muffled production of a modern act like The Reds, Pinks and Purples through all manner of lucid The Go-Betweens reference points, whilst being held together by the foundation of a semi Lloyd Cole / Phil Sutton croon.

These tracks are the reason ‘you pay your entrance fee’ and probably/hopefully always will be, no matter how much their releases become augmented by other layers of brilliance.

After not really revelling in anything near the realms of ‘prolific’ in the last few decades, let us now hope that two albums in consecutive years, signals the increased likelihood of much more from this amazing Virginian four-piece.

Artist Links:  Facebook silentboys.comBandcampTwitter




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