Silver Storms

The A-Sides are a mountain-shattering quintet from Philadelphia, the land where Ben Franklin stood when the future one hundred-dollar bill was lit up by a lightning bolt. Philly, along with the cheese steak, is also the birthplace of Mike Schmidt's mustache. My friend Hayley attends Temple University, also in Philadelphia, official backdrop of the movie with the same name where a flimsy Tom Hanks won an Oscar for having AIDS. Philly!

A band of leisurely constructionists, The A-Sides manufacture prize buildings of implausible mass on their second effort Silver Storms, the follow up to their 2005 debut Hello, Hello on the Prison Jazz imprint.

After an extended seven-minute opening track maneuvers with the baroque luxury of a Mahler symphony, this heavily proportioned album lightly tiptoes into the pool before demonically swimming to deep end, thrashing like a hungry shark towards a splashing bucket of teenage chum.

"A Florida Grove" squeezes out a calcium-enriched squirt of delicious juice from sunshine state with a brisk smatter of ice cubes, chilly enough to make your shivering body want to put on My Morning Jacket. "Diamonds" is a priceless ballad that purchases the hearts of all of us with an animal barbarity comparable to Grizzly Bear or Band Of Horses. "Great American Novelist" begins with energizing blows from a valiant armada of mouths that blow quick, passionate fire onto this well-maintained candlestick, but nothing cataclysmic enough to evaporate your iPod.

Silver Storms is a finely crafted flicker from these ballooning Phillies who somehow traveled from the bottom of the crack in the lower ass of the Liberty Bell and landed all the way on the other side of the country on Vagrant Records, who are pushing yet another Dashboard Confessional and Saves The Day album in this year's fourth quarter, continuing to be the "punk" label that still mystifies with every signing.

With an escalading savoir fare of the grandiose guitar jam-thems like The American Analog Set mixed with Built To Spill, The A-Sides play mellow rock with just enough politeness to hang ten with The Beach Boys with enough rascally kick to smash an unprotected pair of Shins.

"A Florida Grove"


The A-Sides
Vagrant Records

Silver Storms