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White Diary

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Album Review

It may have taken them a very long time, but with 2004's White Diary, Norwegian punk rock hopefuls Silver finally released their first full-length album. The result is nothing short of impressive. Lasting for just over half an hour, it offers you ten songs varying from ferocious to swaggering to epic yearning. For a debut, it's astonishingly consistent. Before recording this album, Silver had been playing together for seven years, and played over 200 live shows around Norway and continental Europe. You can hear that, for sure. They may look like sloppy glam rockers, but their playing has all the discipline and aptness of a seasoned hardcore punk band. Many of the riffs are also a lot more original and smarter than what you would expect from a young punk act's first album. Stylistically, it's a successful clash between proto-punk attitude and hardcore- or metal-styled self-control and complexity. But some of the tracks owe more to classic rock & roll than anything else, like the album's first single, "Intimate Cussing." Here they marry Rolling Stones-esque riffs to a wonderfully strange vocal melody with great effect, before culminating in an ultra-catchy poppy chorus. Another standout is the hit single "Angels Calling," an epic ballad featuring harmonious female vocals on the choruses. On the thrashing punk rocker "Condem Nation," singer Blanco Summer sounds exactly like good old Johnny Rotten, laughing and yapping like a man possessed. That makes for good fun. The production and the arrangements fit the songs nicely throughout the album, being quite raw and minimalistic, never burying the songs in unnecessary heaps of guitars. Occasionally they even apply the simple but clever old Stooges trick of using only one piano key as a percussive instrument, and it works especially well on opener "The Emptiness" and riff-heavy swaggerer "Dead Articulation." White Diary manages to be a modern punk rock album both clever, raw, and packed with quality riffs and tunes — that's no small feat! You get the feeling that this album bears the promise of a fine recording career.

White Diary, Silver
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