I had always wondered what had happened to the band that produced my favorite album of 1997, Silver Sun. With their Buzzcocks-like guitars and Beach Boys-esque harmonies, they were instantly recognizable and I loved them from the first listen. They released a follow-up album in 1998 that found them changing their formula and adding a new wavey/Cars element to their music that didnít resonate quite as loudly with me. Then, silence. I was never able to sort what happened and was disappointed that no more was to be heard from them. So imagine my sheer glee upon gazing at the Camden Barfly listings two months ago to see Silver Sun on the schedule for October! I couldnít imagine what theyíd sound like now, but I also wasn't going to miss taking a listen to them last night and hoping for the best. I was more than pleased.
Although the quartet was playing to a much smaller venue than they would have rocked in the past, they were in good spirits and immediately launched into ìGolden Skin,î from their self-titled debut, much to the delight of the instantly-pogoing crowd. The harmonies were note-perfect, singer James Broad was in great voice, and the guitars still revved as they should. It was like they had never been away. The set was interspersed with songs from both the debut and the follow up, Neo Wave, with even a few new songs sprinkled in. ìBubblegumî was one of the newbies and it showed they hadnít lost the knack for a tune at all . Old favorites like ìFar Out,î ìPipsqueak,î and ìServiceî stoked the embers of the throng, setting off further jumping rituals. My personal favorite of the night, ìLava,î seemed to further ignite the crowd, with their singing ringing out through the building. With Neo Waveís ìIíll See You Around,î Silver Sun fled the stage, only to return for a two-song encore. Only they didnít play any of the three songs I was hoping to hear: ìLast Day,î ìToo Much Too Little Too Late,î or one of the best B-sides recorded ever, ìTrickle Down.î However, that hardly took the sheen off the evening; it merely whetted my appetite for further live shows and, better yet, their third album. Big ups to Will ìSpa Boyî Kinsman for facilitating entry to this excellent event.