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Review | “Archive Material merges the abstract with the linear” Silverbacks – Archive Material

The Last Mixed Tape reviews Archive Material, the sophomore album from Silverbacks.

Photo credit: Róisín Murphy O’Sullivan

Angular in its shape and form, Silverback’s Archive Material is an album that merges the abstract with the linear. The group’s sophomore offering, Archive Material, makes more of their lyrical and musical macilent malaise with a record that loads its pop sensibilities with post-punk stylization. 

 Falling into place with the rumbling rigidity of the title track, there’s an almost Lou Reed-Esque delivery to the lines that cut through the interlocking guitars and rhythms, offset by dynamic drops and vocal ease. This clashing of angles and textures runs right through Archive Material as Silverbacks step forward from the ragged edges of Fad with honed down songwriting and production.

Archive Material is an album that files down every melody and harmony to a sharp corner. In songs like the jolting ‘Rolodex City’, the scratching ‘Recycle Culture’ and multi-dynamic fast-moving ‘Wear My Medals’, Silverbacks find a way to maintain the central infectious nature of their songwriting whilst adding an air of aggressive pointedness to their sound. Making Archive Material an album that is both inviting and challenging. 

However, ‘A Job Worth Something’ merges the musical with the lyrical most effectively. Lines like “Waking up with no purpose just to go to sleep. And the cogs won’t turn to the devil on the beat” capture the pensive malaise and distance of the music as drums thump and guitars interlock behind deadpan vocals. All of which centralizes the thematic thread of the record and Silverbacks themselves.

And so it goes, the geometric post-punk of Archive Materials finds Silverbacks doing what they do best, offsetting melody with fury. Everything connects, vocals lead into guitars, drums rumble with the bass, and the record is an ever-moving beast. Resulting in a sure-footed follow-up in every sense. 

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