Friday, July 20, 2018

Full Length Review: PRIVATE LIFE Silent Partner (Dark Operative) by Dave Wolff

Silent Partner
Place of origin: Texas/California, USA
Genre: Psychedelic cyber-synth rock
Recorded at: 5th Street Studios, Austin, Texas, USA (overdubs recorded in Austin and Los Angeles)
Cover art by: Keith Rankin
Release date: August 17th 2018 (digital format)
Pre-orders available through Dark Operative
The early to mid 70s was the era of progressive rock bands (Yes, Rush, King Crimson). With their debut Silent Partner, due for release next month, Private Life take the best aspects of that period in time, re-introducing them to the twenty-first century. Christopher Royal King (This Will Destroy You) and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Sam Chown (Shmu) establish a new musical statement drawing on past influences, making them as visionary as they were then even if they’re decades old. I haven’t heard either band those two are involved in, yet they work well channeling their ideas into one direction. At times they travel farther back into history, borrowing from The Beatles and David Bowie around the late 60s. But this is not all they have to offer. Earsplit PR’s bio says King and Chown devised an inventive songwriting approach for their first collaboration. Following concept discussions and practices, they mapped out what they call schematics and configurations, in which percussion would trigger additional synthesizers beyond melodies. This sounds confusing, yet the finished product shows their grasp on what they were doing. Considering how cleverly they incorporate time and mood changes, they seem to be creating a new sound that’s not exactly prog, not exactly psychedelic, not exactly jazz, but something that was never tried or even thought of, complete with dueling instruments, sound effects and hypnotic vocals. Silent Partner has all the benefits of an acid trip without the chemicals, modernizing the experience with cyberpunk, thrash, kraut, dreampop and electronica, taking the listener from one end of the spectrum to the other without the need to drag you. This mass crossover is in no way compulsory; it treats the listener as someone who can travel its soundscapes as easily as they were conceived in rehearsals and in the studio. If you’re looking to “branch out” look no further. -Dave Wolff

Christopher Royal King: synthesizers/soundscapes/misc. musical toys/samples, guitars
Sam Chown: drums, vocals, bass, guitars, synthesizers

Track list:
1. Hesitation
2. Bloody Blister
3. You Can Run Away From Your Problems
4. Paradise
5. Dogspeed
6. Dirty Corner
7. Silent Partner

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