[sic] Magazine

Silk Flowers – Silk Flowers

Immortality is a curious thing and don’t let death persuade you otherwise. Elvis lives. Jesus lives, and so does Ian Curtis . His legacy unquestionably still casts gloomy shadows across impressionable youth and pervades many a popular-beat combo’s output as a result.

To name but a few, No Age member Dean Sprunt ‘s label Post Present Medium has previously launched the worldbeat-punk of Abe Vigoda , the cacophonous lo-fi of Wavves and the brainless but fun fuzz-punk of Mika Miko . Brooklyn’s Silk Flowers however break that mould, inhabiting a space devoid of fuzz washes and under production.

Although the band bubble through black-lined, analogue synth-pop, what is most striking about their sound is the club-like, Curtis-gone- Vic Reeves rendering of the vocal. Understandably, some tracks thus remain instrumental. See the clicking, percussive patterns of “Night Shades” as an example.

With minimal arrangements and echoing drum machine, they more commonly lurch from Cold Cave rattle and shudder to frosty atmospherics and nauseous waves of synthetic rhythms as heard in “Sand”. An off-key synth line runs away with “Birds Of Passion”, but never quite evokes the same effect as the teasing, more recent As Above So Below EP.

When it comes to the sparse vocal, “Cheap Shot” is altogether punkier. It also reprises the earlier ebbing melodies, placing them challengingly alongside paranoid ambience and surging bass frequencies. The strongly staccato rhythms of “Costume” inspire robotic movement, the vocal now subject to further digital doodlery. The oddly mechanical and instrumental “Running Out Of Rope” is a curious blend of melody and discordance.

With its ten tracks over in 27 minutes, Silk Flowers wisely leave the best ‘til last. Exiting on a high, “Shadows In Daylight” serves Silk Flowers well as a tagline, breaking into optimistic keyboard over mid-tempo drone and twinkle, also summing them and their album up so nicely in title.

Silk flowers aren’t as good as the real thing, yet they serve a kitsch and functional purpose all the same. Ultimately, the same can be said of the band.

Silk Flowers is out now on Post Present Medium.