September 21, 2004

silkworm 'it'll be cool'

Upon buying this disc at the local hipster music store, the clerk comments, “Silkworm is still a band? Wow.” For those of you who don’t know, they ARE still a band, they still play shows, and they still release records. In fact, Steve Albini just recorded their ninth album, which was released this week. I must say that Albini did a great job with this one. My first thought as the album faded into the four-chord jam of “Don’t Look Back”, was that the sound was good. As the second track began, I corrected myself. The sound was perfect. The blistering guitar solos, the fuzzy bass, the pounding drums… I was floored with how well the album portrayed the band that made it.

While It’ll be Cool will sure as shit bump the hell out of your stereo more than anything else they’ve released, it is not their strongest effort to date. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome---All the songs are strong, however, I’m afraid they’ve set the standard rather high with their 2002 disc, Italian Platinum. Also, they chose to get weird on this album. While “Something Hyper”, kind of weirds me out with the toy piano and the slow-tape speed backing vocals, it oddly enough falls right in place here, leading into the spaghetti western barroom feel of “Xtian Undertaker”. The two part closing piece, “The Operative”, is pretty sweet as well, fading out the album as it began. After 17 years, Silkworm rarely disappoints, and It’ll Be Cool is no exception.

--Kyle Sowash

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