13 Jul 2024
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Silk Cut

Bio

Looking to avoid ‘difficult third EP’ syndrome, Auckland band Silk Cut make their next release a full album, which is scheduled for release on 22 February 2023.

Apropos of the scheme of things it is entitled Our Place in the Stars.

Leading the band is guitarist, vocalist, and main songwriter Andrew Thorne. Aidan Phillips keeps to bass and backing vocals. One fine drummer replaces another, whereby Jayden Lee takes the place of Mike Burrows. Just in time to save a tidy riff from the dustbin with a great vocal and guitar is Justin McLean, making a seamless and satisfying joint composition with Andrew on track 2.

Additional keyboards were provided by Mark Steven and Olly Harmer, haunting backing vocals by Christina Cusiel.

Our Place in the Stars runs for the erstwhile industry-standard forty minutes, comprising eight new tracks plus one cover. The songs are sequenced in almost the exact order of their composition. If the listener perceives a logical transition from one track to the next, there is most likely one.

From the outset the band aimed for an album that would develop upon the sonic and melodic ideals of the EPs - dreamy and spacious, but with increased drive and weight. This ambition was immediately confounded by the first two songs, A Very Special Life and I Remember the Winter, which insisted that they be psychedelic power pop. Not only should they appear on the album, but they should open it. The former is a facetious tale of entitlement, while the latter suggests that winter might soon be a thing of the past.

Thereafter the original notion begins to take hold. Try And Find a Time We Belong recalls mid-nineties Brit Pop, with its half-speed Motown groove and a wistful longing for something or other. As it plays out, pieces are shed, while lead guitar and bass weave the song to a standstill in the oasis.

Manta Ray is the album’s sonic centrepiece - dreamy, tuneful, and elevated. Hitting the original brief so directly, it almost seemed rude to write a competitor. In LP format, you’d turn the record over here.

And a dark turn it is. Forever Unknown is an aural double-exposure of a Middle Eastern bazaar and Dodge City. These seemingly incongruous elements alternate with a headlong drive, while a solitary misfit calls himself to account.

Dream On with Me lets some air in. A twelve-string acoustic guitar with bass counterpoint play a melody redolent of Tudor court. Essentially a love song, the theme is banishment of drudgery by a significant (possibly chemical) other.

Drive For You has an indie flavour, which works a chunky riff, at times giving way to a brief vocal refrain which yields the album title. Head first with a slow dive.

While not the final track, Mountain Under the Sea serves to close the album. It loosely references mid-seventies British progressive. This is a slow tempo tune featuring a dense chorus, three increasingly dramatic guitar breaks, and a churning outro. Bowie once covered Pink Floyd; imagine the favour returned.

Roll credits. The album ends with the band’s tribute to a great British cop show, The Sweeney. Harry South wrote the fantastic theme tunes that bookend the show. This version combines both, in reverse order, rearranged for guitar and Hammond.

The quest for original music seems almost paradoxical - a fool’s errand. The permutations seem limitless, yet you can see all the component parts. Look anywhere – backwards, or forwards – a favourite place? Something must have been overlooked.

Here’s to the search.

Band Members:
Andrew Thorne (guitar, vocals)
Aidan Phillips (bass, backing vocals)
Jayden Lee (drums)
Justin McLean (guitar, backing vocals).

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Location

  • Auckland


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