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November 19, 2017


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Silkenseed
Hurry Home (Rainforest Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Part of Portland, Oregon's ever-increasing pop-rock scene, Silkenseed blends an array of emotions with a down-to-earth pop sound. Able to rock you one minute, and then tap a nerve the next, the songs they've constructed have blossomed into a mature collection on HURRY HOME.

"Benchwarming" starts off with a pop center, soft and gentle in nature, then builds on top of that. The guitars lean towards a rock platform one minute, and the next minute they too embrace the top-40 pop sound. Hamilton Sims' vocals are the emotional drive here, bringing to life the lyrics with every painful release. Even lines that aren't that emotional feel emotional when coming from his mouth. His voice is pain-stricken and torn, yet still manages to leave the angst at home and paint the sky with truth and realism.

"Typhoid Mary" shows an even gentler sound of the band. Focusing on the pop side of their pop-rock sound, this time around the guitars eagerly follow the pace of the song and stay on the gentle side. The band seems to be at harmony with each other -- the band sounds very tight, carrying themselves nicely through each hook-filled journey.

"Safeway" reflects the band's love of the Dave Matthews Band. If you aren't careful, you could mistake this as a Dave Matthews original. The diverse instrumentation found throughout a Dave Matthews album is present, and the zany flavor Dave brings to his music is also common place on this song (as well as throughout the album).

Jumping into some hard rock, "Virlie Graves" finds the band too far out of their comfort zone. The song is loud and obnoxious, almost as if the band is trying to be something totally different than what is presented on the album. The hard rock format completely alienates the listener from the pop melodies on the album, and will quickly turn your good experiences sour.

The same is true for "Heartburn." Although, this time they get a little softer and more pop-driven. But the guitars still spit out the thick, crunchy riffs, which don't mix with the rest of the song. After hearing this song you get the feeling these guys are all ex-metalheads and are trying to go soft due to the changing tides of the musical waves. Not a good feeling to get when you're listening to emotional pop.

Off to a good start, Silkenseed was able to keep the momentum alive for a good portion of the disc. Near the end though, they drifted down hill. They went from crafty hooks and an emotional appeal to your standard pop formula. They tried to bring themselves out of a ditch by mixing things up a bit, but their attempts at hard rock found them face first in the dirt. I'll give this disc a B-.

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