Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Artist: Silverside

Artist: Silverside

People hate corporate rock bands. Probably because it shouldn't take a corporation to write antiseptic anthems populating Spider-Man films. We're forced to wonder: it took a trio of songwriters and a veritable supergroup of supporting musicians [from Nickelback, Saliva, Theory of a Deadman, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Our Lady Peace] to relay Chad Kroeger's statement of the obvious (“And they say that a hero can save us / I'm not gonna stand here and wait.”)? Really?

But there's a downside to the vitriolic backlash. It gives the indie press considerable license to do what they wanted to do anyway: marginalize original-but-polished rock bands. And why not? It's easier to fill 500 words writing about bands with idiosyncrasy and quirk, or at least weaknesses – anything to fill the column inches. In other words, as entertaining as it is to listen to triumphant stadium-sized rock, “it rocks” doesn't make for an interesting read. And so it goes: The duty to hype label-ready bands is relegated to the internet commenters. Meanwhile, “serious” music writers get busy pitching James Blake as the Antony Hegarty/Justin Vernon lovechild we've all been waiting for, while their readers dismiss label-ready bands as “corporate” well before they are.
Having said all that, we in the “alt-indie press” – yes, that's the alternative to the indie press – still get to turn our readers on with bands that rock. It is in the discharge of my solemn duty then, that I humbly recommend Chicago's Silverside ( Yes, they rock. But don't hold it against them.

And as tends to happen when professional songwriting combines with studio chops in a “label-ready” band, I could allow myself to get bogged down trying to single out all the things Silverside is doing well on a song like “Long Road Down.” So instead let me put it this way. If you find yourself happily getting lost in its “Stairway to Heaven”-infused intro, only to get your ass handed to you 20 seconds later, please know that you're not alone. There are support groups for people like you and me. We like to call ourselves: People Who Found Out The Hard Way That Silverside Knows Just What The Fuck They're Doing. (Or “fans” for short.)

*** The author of this review, Alan Hayes, plays the naqara for the following band:

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