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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Colin Spring and the Band That Murdered Silence

Cancion De Pollo

Review by Gary Hill

I have to give kudos to any band whose name has a literary origin, and this is one such outfit. Their moniker comes from a passage by Joseph Conrad where he says that the house band in a club was "not so much making music as murdering silence." Well, while Colin Spring and company may in fact "murder silence", they also manage to make music in the process. It's some exceptionally good music, too. While this band would surely fall nicely into an alternative rock category, they have their feet firmly planted in old school song writers like Dylan, '70's country tinged sounds like those created by The Eagles and folk and country and even punk traditions. The result is a very genuine and evocative mix that is quite entertaining. The disc has a bit of a slow point in the middle, but it only lasts for a couple songs, and both the album opening cuts and closers are quite strong. This outfit should have a good run ahead of them, as they are very proficient songwriters and performers.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Come Back, Baby Jean
This track feels a bit like a raw modern rock take on the story telling song style of Bob Dylan and his kind. The track rocks out quite well, and should appeal to fans of modern alternative rock. It has a bit of a post punk texture.
A Jukebox To Put My Dimes In
If the last one called to mind Bob Dylan's electric period, this one might make one think a bit of his Nashville Sessions period. Combine that with the more country territory of the Eagles and Neil Young, and you come pretty close to the musical theme of this poetic piece.
Come On Down (To My End of the Dial)
This punky raw rocker feels a bit like Cracker.
Sweet Repose
This is a punky folk rocker that has a lot of energy and a catchy chorus.
Wicked Ways
For some reason this one reminds me of Lone Justice just a bit. Mind you I've always like that band, so the reference is high praise, but it's more the gritty punky take on a slightly countrified song that does it. This really doesn't sound like that band, but it rather feels like them. This fast paced rocker has a very meaty guitar solo.
Tired Old Town
This is a mellower more balladic track that draws most of its charm from the vocal arrangement. It's catchy, but not one of my favorite tracks from the disc.
The Old Javelins
This is a powerful punky balladic folk rock number with a charmingly noisy guitar solo. This one has an awesome texture that helps to make it one of my picks on the album.
Red
This rough around the edges folk rocker has a nice gritty texture and some killer guitar work.
Clean Out The Boxes, Ma
More energetic folky rock, this one has a less raw texture than some of the other material and a very creative arrangement.
Far Away and Tomorrow
The band doesn't change much on their formula here, but why mess with success?
Miiles
This one feels a bit like a cross between The Stones' "Angie" and "Dead Flowers" at times. It's a slow and very dramatic ballad. This one has a great arrangement and is a change of pace when the album most needed it. It is another of the strongest songs on the disc.
Tonka Truck Children
This fast paced rocker has a tiny bit of a Latin texture to it and is another stand out. It almost sounds a bit like Dire straits at times.
Santa Domingo
A great guitar melody starts this and gradually builds. The vocals come over with a distant electronically disconnected texture. With a very dramatic and powerful tone, even in its slowly building, not fully there first segment, this cut is my favorite on show here. It is packed with emotion and power, even when it's laid back. This one is extremely strong and a great closing cut. It gets quite lush at times.
Hidden Track
After several minutes of silence this Dylanesque cut comes in.
 
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