October 26, 2004

Silver Sunshine "silver Sunshine"

Silver Sunshine prove to be a bit of a confounding little group. They're a tight little four-piece who, unintentionally or not, are a retro group. It's clear they've got a sweet tooth for the Sixties, and it's also quite clear that they've got a penchant for the indie-rock bands of the 1990s who had a sweet tooth for the Sixties. So which are they-- are they inspired by the inspired, or are they inspired by those inspired by the inspired? Think about it.

Thought about it?

It's hard--if not nearly impossible--for a young band to avoid sounding like those who inspire them, and though that's true, it's hard to listen to Silver Sunshine, because the songs occasionally sound too similar to more familiar tunes. "Trinkets," for instance, sounds a bit like The Beatles' "Rain," and it doesn't help that the singer sounds a dead ringer for John Lennon. But don't think they're going for a Beatles style, either; "If I had The Time" sounds too much like "Last Train to Clarksville" for my taste, and let's hope that the lawyers of the writer of "Happy Together" don't hear "Way Up In the Big Sky," either. What makes these blatent rip-offs so frustrating is that it's obvious these guys can play quite well. Good musicians shouldn't resort to such...thievery?

When they're not sounding like the hitmakers of the past, they tread the same territory as Beulah, Stereolab and Of Montreal, and though they might not have the most original sound, it's on songs "Velvet Skies," "Miranda May" and "Greenfield Park" that they start to form their own musical identity. It's not always prevalent, but it's there. In the future, Silver Sunshine should focus on less distinctive styles, so that their next record won't seem so--unoriginal.Silver Sunshine means well, but a little more work should be spent on developing their own identity.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.silversunshine.com
Label Website: http://www.wishingtreerecords.com

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