[sic] Magazine

The Silent Party – Inanimate EP

Isn’t it odd how todays world is in love with Joy Division? A band, let us not forget, that ended in 1980. It feels as though the music scene of 1980 has been entombed in marble only to be ransacked three decades later. Yet I can recall proclaiming Joy Division as ‘favourite’ band at college, in one of those ‘Give your first ever presentation’ to a classroom of blank faces. It was 1983. New Order had the biggest selling 12” single of all time. Nobody knew who they were.

That was then. This is now. Today we have books and mainstream movies celebrating both the majesty and the myth of Joy Division. Household names? Practically. And of course we have the legacy. The bands who love that sound. The bands who want to be the ‘next Joy Division’. I think it’s fair to say The Silent Party fall into such a category. Robotic drumming, wrought iron basslines and flat vocals fit the bill. Fortunately The Silent Party don’t limit their influences to just one band. There are dashes of The Cure, Lowlife, The Sound, Bauhaus and The God Machine across this EP.

Most of Inanimate is a mixture of Unknown Pleasures and Faith. I like The Silent Party best when they slow things right down. Devoid of any urgency, ‘Clouds pass in silence’ is downright deliberate in its performance. The methodical synth line certainly recalls ‘Decades’ and ‘Isolation’ but I’m reminded more of equally superb Adrian Borland than Ian Curtis.

As well as a five track EP we get three bonuses. The first of these is uptempo shoegazer ‘I call you’ and the second is the downright heavenly ‘Illusion’ a track which merits a purchase by itself. Pitched somewhere between New Orders Movement and Lowlifes Diminuendo ‘Illusion’ is one of those jauntily, happily sad records. Gorgeous.

When I said the world was in love with Joy Division I really meant it. The Silent Party hail from São Paulo, Brazil of all places and probably cannot avoid their ‘Brazilian Joy Division’ tag. They may not even want to.
‘Unsettled understanding’ ends this disc and frankly, this one shows how not to do it. For ‘Unsettled understanding’ is a blatent ‘Shadowplay’ forgery in all but name (and lyrics) only. If there is a market for this kind of stuff then it shouldn’t be copyism, retreads or approximation. Far better to look at the impressive debuts of acts like Editors and Interpol, to pick up that (dropped) baton and run with it in your own direction. The Silent Party are doing this with stuff like ‘Illusion’ and ‘Clouds pass in silence’. I look forward to a continuation of The Silent Party’s own sound over a full release.