Silver Tongues “Black Kite”
Remember Mr Benn the lovable cartoon character who changed profession every day? He must have had a silver tongue to get through all of those interviews. I mention Mr Benn as Silver Tongues seem to be trying something quite different on every track, switching styles without losing their identity.
The record starts with the bum-tish, bum-bum-tish drums with cavernous synths droning whilst impassioned vocals fill the sonic cave, next up ‘Ketchup’ sounds like something that might appear on 'Captured Tracks' with shaky ecstatic guitar lines and scruffy vocals.
Next change, ‘Black Kite’ is all acoustic guitars and beautiful harmonies with gently spiralling electric guitars. Then comes ‘Warsaw’ that starts with a rush of strings that sound a dead ringer for Michael Nyman and if that volte face isn’t enough, then the song develops a Muse style cavalcade of bombast. It’s hard to know what might come next - I like this approach, why keep repeating yourself. So next up is ‘Hope For’ which actually threatens to repeat the title track but it doesn’t , it’s lower key, the vocal is the most understated, harmonies just add a shadow, the guitars gently ripple before strings provide a stirring uplift. It is gorgeous.
Of course there are more departures to come; ‘Home’ ups the emotional ante straying into gospel territory. This is a quicksilver record, hard to get a grip on as it changes direction so often, there are moments of great beauty and interest, there are also moments where it falls flat. For ambition and range it can’t be faulted and being so broad it is difficult to succeed in everything it tries.