Silverbacks: Fad review – Seriously exciting debut from Dublin band

Excellent first offering built on post-punk murky basslines and savage riffs

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Artist: Silverbacks
Genre: Alternative
Label: Central Tones

They may have (somewhat facetiously, we expect) called their debut album Fad, but there’s nothing about Silverbacks to suggest that they’re flavour of the month. If anything, this Dublin five-piece’s excellent first offering suggests that they may be around for some time yet.

These songs borrow from various genres and eras, the most obvious being post-punk, 1990s-tinged slacker-rock and the Television-style 1970s new wave bounce that was previously annexed by the likes of The Strokes. But this is much darker nihilistic fare than that band. Guided by Girl Band's Daniel Fox on production, the emphasis is on repetition, tense, murky basslines and savage riffs that recall a heavier version of Yuck or Wolf Alice.

Opener Dunkirk even subtly nods to a band such as The Fall, Daniel O’Kelly grinding out monotone vocals with an enjoyable ennui before the song breaks into a surprising little pop melody. Muted Gold follows a similarly unpredictable structure, while the energetic gristle of Just in the Band is unrelenting.

Bassist Emma Hanlon’s airy voice is an apt counterpoint to O’Kelly’s drawl on several tracks, including the grungy Up the Nurses and the angular Klub Silberruken. Throughout the fast-paced tracklist, their lyrics lurch between deadpan humour (Fad ’95) and confrontational (Last Orders), with plenty to unravel on repeated listens.

All in all, Fad is both a satisfying and seriously exciting debut.