Silverhawk – The Forest for the Trees

Silverhawk – The Forest for the Trees

Different and all somewhat shaded with towering trees, folk music comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s mostly a tag for describing a specific sound and while the genre tags themselves grow wearier as time passes by, there’s always something about the forest, about the shade, about trees and folk that is downright synonymous. Portland’s Silverhawk has always reigned their roots in Americana and the Oregon city for that matter, but for this folk-based band, music is a jolt of expression. With their third album, The Forest for the Trees, Silverhawk address American borders with assaults on folk rock that are both sincere and earnest.

On “I Only Wanna Rock and Roll” the music comes at a relentless pace, with slamming drums and rolling pianos to boot. There’s a strong presence to rock on the album and while the country rock slogan might sound tired as well, Silverhawk place their music somewhere in between rock and folk with steady guitars. The band compliments their energetic music with standards based on the blues and even, country. Even on the heavy-handed “So Complex,” while the music brandishes a muscular, jagged edge, the chiming sentiment of the chorus carries a pleasant ring. While Forest for the Trees is focused on maintaining sincere points – strong, lean cuts of life – there’s a diverse set on display here.

Reading comparisons to songwriters like Michael Stipe sound particularly keen; however, maybe the band is obviously influenced (as many noteworthy bands currently are) by the towering giant band Stipe still fronts. On “I Would Eat His Heart” the drum’s staggered pattern is contrasted with melancholy vocal hymns, before the pounding pulse of the angular guitars rip through. The strong chords embrace the harmonies with magnificent results and through the morbid recounting of seeking revenge, there’s a flourishing keyboard line. The stories on Forest for the Trees certainly convey a rich American drive with methods and nods to religion, crime and money embellished in a flow of Americana roots.

While surely there exists a common thread between any musician that cares about his craft, there is nothing wrong with drawing similar comparisons, let alone similar sounds to some of the best tones in the world. The music on Forest for the Trees is a mulling affair and while the highs never reach more than their modest bars, the blend of honest songwriting is an impressive success. While folk and Americana and any other bred of reminiscent ilk starts to ramble together, the music on the pedestal is all that matters. Silverhawk embrace their influences and spirits with theories that mash their diverse palette with an uncanny ear for melody.

“Class War” by Silverhawk

Buddy Cat Music