Silverbacks: Archive Material (Full Time Hobby) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 29th, 2024  


Archive Material

Full Time Hobby

Jan 26, 2022 Issue #69 - 20th Anniversary Issue Bookmark and Share

Released a year and a half after the Irish five-piece art rockers’ debut Fad, Archive Material sees Silverbacks continuing their effort to defy categorization by creating sonic pastiches from fragments of widely varying genres into a jovial racket with wild shifts in dynamics and tempo.

At their best, Silverbacks’ musical touchstones include the jumpy rhythms of Bodega and the buzz-rock of Deerhoof played with the nervous energy of Talking Heads mixed with the snarky attitude of Cake. If you like the touchstones, you will certainly like some of Archive Material, but probably not all.

On the title track and standout tracks such as “They Were Never Our People,” “Econymo,” and “I’m Wild,” Silverbacks loosen it up a bit and weave some colorful and catchy melodies throughout the dramatic post-punk, creating the perfect yang to the yin of their bristly and frazzled sound.

But the art of weaving catchy melodies into the mix escapes them sometimes, so tense songs such as “Different Kind of Holiday” and “Recycle Culture” create a dense and cluttered mix that sounds a bit muddled and smothers the inner beauty, losing any appeal they had to begin with.

Silverbacks cram a lot of music into their songs, making each one a densely packed mix of angular guitar riffs and jittery alt-rock, often played with chops, alternating boy/girl vocals, and a need for shouted, repeating phrases. It is an acquired taste that often perks up the ears and brings pleasure but just as often fails to carry a melody and disappoints.

Archive Material is definitely worth a listen for those adventurous souls looking for something unique with a different spin on popular culture. (

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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