Paint Me As You See Me - Silhouettes EP Review
Propelled further into the public domain by airplay on Kerrang! Radio, 'Paint Me As You See Me', the title track from Silhouettes current EP, rightly entices further listening to Silhouettes, a Wolverhampton-based quartet with a dynamic, intelligent, finely-constructed sound.
Opening the EP with an atmospheric, percussive introduction that's then joined by sensitively orchestral sounding strings beneath a gently reverberating strummed guitar which together builds murmurs of suspense; the 'The Black Hand' declares Silhouettes' undoubted sensitivity and expertise already clear and further emphasised when Nathan Till's beautiful smooth vocals enter over the moving instrumental accompaniment. The track's chorus seems to momentarily sedately resolve the anxiety of the suspense that was previously established before it returns as the music dies to just vocals and keyboards. Concluding 'The Black Hand's' brief vocal section, Till wails powerfully in a Thom Yorke-esque fashion over the full band sound before it kicks into an electronic beat-flanked section ridden with sensitively executed electronic trickery that provides yet more contrast, and it's still only track one.
The soaring title track, 'Paint Me As You See Me', whose introduction declares immediate strength with a crunching guitar drive, follows with Till maintaining great vocal clarity over a variety of guitar tones, all accompanied by a sensitive, instrumental blend. 'You Are The Sun' opens with a rhythmic drums and bass that leads into an extended instrumental introduction underpinned by a catchy melodic bass line before Till's distinctive vocals ease into the blend, accurately pitched with a beautiful silky tone. The song kicks into another soaring chorus that bares unavoidable resemblance to that of 'Street Spirit (Fade Out)' before snapping into a contrasting funky post-chorus complete with wah guitar and all, which is followed by another verse and chorus and then leads in to a good old-fashioned high-pitched guitar solo to conclude. Silhouettes aren't afraid of experimentation or of exploring capabilities of instruments through a variety of musical genres and creating contrasting musical paragraphs within tracks; their sound offers the undeniable ripples of Radiohead, and also The Boxer Rebellion, Jeff Buckley and Bloc Party.
'Comeback Kid' continues with a sparse, spacey echoing introduction before crashing in with more of an energy and determination than the tracks which preceded it, complete with a powerful stadium show like stop-time chorus and instrumental outro. 'The Gallows', on the other hand would not be out of place on either Amnesiac or Hail To The Thief with electronic squelching beats flanking low keyboards and Nathan Till showing the low end of his vocal range. In this track particularly, comparisons with Radiohead are unavoidable, though these comparisons are absolutely no criticism; the track, like the whole EP, is a strong effort in its own right; expertly constructed, sensitive and powerful.
Following 'Forgive Me' with its sombre, piano-accompanied, false-sense-of-security introduction, the final track on the EP, 'Hallelujah' opens relatively down-tempo, with a gentle 6/8 feel and sedate accompaniment to Till's vibrato-ridden vocal before building into a beautiful delicate chorus warmed by female backing vocals. A distorted wall of fuzz briefly intercepts before the beauty returns, then making way for a few moments of post rock indulgence which brings the EP to a suitably fine conclusion.