The Silent Years – Let Go EP

The Silent Years - Let Go EP

The Silent Years - Let Go EP

The phrase “let go” could be defined and interpreted in a various amount of ways. For some, it could mean the letting go of childish things and moving on to adulthood. In that same respect, it could signify the moment in a parent’s life where it is time to let go of their baby. And for others, it’s the letting go of the hurt caused by one person and realizing that things could be different, but they’re not.

I’ve borrowed a lot in that short introduction but for The Silent Years and its frontman, Josh Epstein, its music borrows a lot from many different influences, past and current. Described as a week-long recording stint that re-energized and refreshed the band, their new EP, Let Go is a collection of unabashed rock. Leaning towards the poppier side of the spectrum, it’s a gleefully ecstatic release that finds the band fittingly moving on to broader sounds.

For most of the time, as Epstein has himself admitted, the music sounds carefully calculated and dictated. On album closer, “Claw Marks,” the music begins with a careful crawl, before leading into a thick amount of instruments and electronics. Somewhere between DeVotchKa’s instrumentals and the distorted guitars of Broken Social Scene, the song quickly careens into an up-tempo rock standard before jolting back into the unknown. And for the most part, there is a clear focus on strings and following their tones, as in the chamber music of “Madame Shocking.” Reasonably titled, the upper-class can’t be mistaken for a joyful amount of toy chimes and Epstein’s shining falsetto.

Fancying a sound that could be deemed as dismissible pop, The Silent Years plays its cards right by combining the worthier elements of captivating rock and energy-filled pop. On “TV>BJ” Epstein’s vocals come off a bit loud but he’s caught up in the moment and with the drums and guitars equally pounding away, who wouldn’t? 

Sweeping melodies, sing-along choruses and honest, blunt lyrics all make for a solid release. Even at just six songs long, Let Go feels more like a short LP than it does as an extended play. And logically so, it was recorded just a few short weeks after their 2008 effort, The Globe. A song like “Forest Fire” is so wonderfully composed that it comes off as something that’s being performed by any of today’s indie-rock staples.

The only logical problem might be the EP’s actual staying power. Few will be able to hark back and remember this as a one of the greatest things they ever heard. Then again, letting go of such pretensions sounds like something The Silent Years would enjoy. And with that in mind, Let Go accomplishes what it set out to do, and delivers a sturdy amount of solid music.

“Taking Drugs at the Amusement Park” by The Silent Years

SideCho Records