By William Hoffman | firstname.lastname@example.org | @Wilbur_Hoffman
Silent Lions couldn’t be a better name to describe the unexpected explosive and bombastic bass riffs contrasting the at times subdued melodic lines of this duo that is consistently surprising and fresh.
Silent Lions joined The Post in the Fall to show off two tracks on our Athens Sessions video series, and now the full 6-track album, The Compartments, is here and available on the duo’s bandcamp page on a name your own price basis.
Listening to the music an observer would never know it’s being made by two people. With frontman Dean Tartaglia playing a heavily distorted bass with his left hand and a sample board on his right alongside drummer Matt Klein’s heavy and grooving beats, this duo is able to make the fullness of a four-piece band.
Where Silent Lion’s previous EP The Parliaments felt intentionally in your face about just how heavy and dark the music was, The Compartments feels more subtle and mature. The album is bright where it needs to be and is always followed with that signature bass drop to create a solid eb and flow throughout the album that always keeps you interested.
“Stolen In The Heart Of The Moment,” can be extraordinarily full and also enticingly minimal with the the sampled piano lines throughout the track. It’s also the albums most energetic and confident track where Tartaglia really shines on the vocals by not holding anything back. “Running Me Down,” the album’s opening track, drags a lot due to the lack of enthusiasm in the vocal line despite some seriously cool beats.
But obviously Silent Lions is still developing its sound. The bass and samples can be overly fuzzy where they could use cleaning up, and Tartaglia’s voice can be muddled in distortion quite frequently. All these things add to the charm of the band and give it a certain quality, but a balance could still be found between the two worlds of grinding bass and melody.
“Everybody Freeze” and “Space In Time” are able to find some of that balance and bring out the same confidence from earlier in the record that really makes this music shine. And the sampled sound solos of squeaky distortion give these songs the edge they need.
The Compartments, along with the rest of the Silent Lions downloadable catalogue, is worth a purchase as Ohioans and Athenians, who fell in love with the pop-outfit Mind Fish, watch this band grow and learn with each successive album. But the real way to experience this group will be live as they come to Athens Saturday for a house show and again at the end of the month at Casa Nueva.
If the Athens Sessions recordings are any indication, Silent Lions is at its best when the passion for the music is visibly there and the high octane bass riffs rattle the room and make your heart race.