If the Hives, the Killers and System of a Down had a lovechild, it’d probably sound like Chicago’s rock trio, Silvertone. Comprised of members that span indie rock to metal, Silvertone risks the disjointed sound too often associated with projects marrying artists from multiple genres. But on its three latest singles, Silvertone incorporates elements from metal, indie and garage rock to produce an unexpected and coherent sound, all while telling a relatable love story.
“So Close to So Much,” released Feb. 27, is an alt-rock/emo banger about the familiar experience of being immensely in love but afraid of getting hurt. It’s about meeting someone new and so easily imagining the dog you adopt together, the places you travel to, the home you buy and the life you share.
Singer Zach Gray revels in the ecstasy of feeling “So Close to So Much” before immediately recoiling from the emotion. “I know at the end of the day that you will leave,” he wails over thundering guitar riffs and emphatic drums. Gray’s falsetto on the chorus is reminiscent of Patrick Stump’s on “Dance, Dance,” while the brief guitar solo — a riff that builds in intensity and volume — seems like something off a Strokes track.
If “So Close to So Much” is Silvertone wallowing in love-induced angst, then “Hesitate,” released April 3, is an indie rock ode to baggage. “How could I run away with you / And skip the challenge of telling you / What’s been on my mind?” Gray sings over a drum beat that seems to be his heart, pounding in anticipation.
Then, at the bridge, everything drops out except a line of shimmering guitar chords. It’s a crucial moment that punctuates an otherwise-repetitive song; it’s the silence before, “Can we talk?” The bridge, much like our emotions in these contexts, builds, and the pounding heart returns. “Hesitate” ends with the same riff as the beginning, concluding a circular thought process that sometimes yields productive conversations and sometimes repeats itself over and over. “How could I ever tell you?”
Silvertone sheds its poppy inclinations on “Accelerator,” which is the most hardcore of the tracks. Released March 20, “Accelerator” opens with some insane drumming and, as per the title, builds like a revving engine to a verse accentuated by power chords. The lyrics again imply longing, “Can I accelerate the time until I see you?” But it’s more lustful than what we hear on the other tracks: “I haven’t had enough, my mind is stuck, I’ll be your slut.” The vigorous sonics, in concert with the simple, repetitive lyrics, depict the side of love characterized by blind desire. Sometimes, in love, there’s only yearning, and everything else is just white noise.
Featured image: The band Silvertone, provided by source. Credit: Andrew Giese
Kira Leadholm is the co-editor-in-chief of Redacted Magazine. Kira recently returned from a year living in Kazakhstan where she reported on the climate crisis, LGBT+ rights, labor issues and the arts. Currently, she studies social justice and investigative reporting at Medill School of Journalism, and she holds a B.A. from the University of Chicago.