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Monday, January 4, 2016

Sad Lives of the Hollywood Lovers - Silencer ep

Name: Sad Lives of the Hollywood Lovers
Album: Silencer ep
Year: 2005
Style: Synthpop, Darkwave, New Wave
Similar Bands: Depeche Mode, Bay of Pigs, Interpol, Killers
"One Word" Review: Brooding, Breathy Dance-Depression
Based Out Of: Harrisonburg, Virginia
Label: Spinsgood Records
 Silencer ep - Cover, Liner & Tray images
Silencer ep - Liner Notes, Back, CD
Silencer ep (2005)
  1. You Make Me Feel Like I'm Fifteen 5:22
  2. Boys 3:32
  3. Fedora 3:40
  4. We Are Neon Lights 4:34
  5. The Scene 3:35
  6. Vindicators Failing 5:25
  7. Running From the Paparazzi 3:17


Album Rating (1-10): 3.0

Members & Other Bands:
Hunter Christy - Engineer, Recording, Vocals Synth, Recording, Layout, Design (Treemen)
Mark "Xu" Shue - Vox, Guitars, Asst Engineering, Layout, Design (Beech Creeps, Doug Gillard, Library is on Fire, Pterodactyl)
Kyle Harris - Drums Programming
Jack Sheehan - Bass, Asst Engineering
Ben May - Asst Engineering
Harrison Christy - Asst Engineering
Allison Kiser - Executive Producer
Sera Petras - Photos
David Jetton - Cover Modeling
Stephanie Jetton - Cover Modeling
Emily McMillion - Cover Modeling
Evan Moritz - Cover Modeling
Manica Noziglia - Cover Modeling
Evan Owen - Cover Modeling
Anne Paulus - Cover Modeling
Abby Shue - Cover Modeling
Barbara Shue - Cover Modeling
David Shue - Cover Modeling
Arianna Warner - Cover Modeling
Mia Wilson - Cover Modeling
Chessy  - Cover Modeling

Unknown-ness - Never heard of this band. Received it from a friend who wanted to part with it. Based on the band's appearance, listing of synths and programming on the liner notes, and with the album art combining analog TVs with the human bodies, i'm going to assume this is going to be smooth digital pop/rock, similar to The Inflatable Men, whom I like a lot. It seems like a heavily self-produced record, and I think the quality of the album artwork looks good, so I am optimistic.

Album Review: Despite the fact that they are a recent band, there is still not much out there about them. A total of 3 ep’s over about 3 years, and they were through. The main two still have bands that play around: Beech Creeps out of Brooklyn (Mark), and Treemen (as support) in NC (Hunter).

“You Make Me Feel Like I'm Fifteen” begins with a swirling programmed 2 bit synth. A cold industrial drum beat ads in next to a chugging guitar, and deep vocals like Depeche Mode or Mad at the World slowly glide over the music. The chorus picks up a little more complex sound, and a little bit of Pulp is added in, but not enough to make it a good song. Soaring guitars take over the song at the end, and overall, the vibe is dark, moody, and droning.
“Boys” is still dark, but has a little more promise, reminding me of one of the first albums I reviewed, Bay of Pigs. Still sounds too much like Depeche Mode for me to enjoy. Interpol/Killers like guitars. Even the melody is hard for me to enjoy, capturing what I dislike about DM.
“Fedora” starts off with a drum beat, and the soaring guitars and cold, dark synth keys. The chorus is a fastly shout-sung barrage. The looping nature of the guitars creates an anxious, ambulance siren atmosphere. Haunting echos fill in the background, and the second shouty part brings in elements of Korn. Then it ends very abruptly.

“We Are Neon Lights” skips in on single, repetitive synth notes. Zooming synth takes over for the introduction, and the vocals are rushed, but dark and theatrical. Some of the synth elements are fun and interesting, but the overall downer, darkwave vibe cancels any dancey notions. But this is definitely a case where this does not appeal to me. I bet plenty of folks would love to jam out (or sit in a depressed cocoon stasis) to this. Perhaps there is a little Franz Ferdinand in this track too, especially with the gang-chorus style of the later choruses.
“The Scene” was the single, and has a video. It starts with a ticking, and then blasts off with a fun yet dark new wave hook. The bass line is a little Clash-like, and really drives the song. The breathy vocals don’t draw as much attention to themselves in this song, and are relatively tame; not over-reactive.
“Vindicators Failing” slowly fades up, and becomes a trudging, slow-paced arctic tundra, with icy synth, and cold, deep, breathy vocals. The song maintains tempo, but a marching drumbeat adds to the soundscape. The vocals still whine and cry out in pain that they have accepted. A bit of brightness in the piano is added toward the end, but it seems to end just before peace is achieved.
“Running From the Paparazzi” is a pulsing, intense guitar driven song, with a dance drum beat, and stuttering anticipation in the verse. The breakdown/bridge is much more hopeful than the rest of the song and album, but basing it on the song title, I believe it is just anger coming out, backed by uplifting music. The song ends with about 15 seconds of dead space to end the record.

This was pretty opposite of my taste when it comes to the vocals, and I do throw a lot of weight on the vocals.

Stand Out Track: The Scene

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