If Brother are the new Oasis, Tribes the next Pulp, and 2011 is the next year of Britpop, then surely, to properly match the mid nineties, there is an Embrace shaped hole to be filled? Step forward Silent Devices.
Soaring piano melodies lead the tracks, ‘Two Decades’ being full of moments where a bright riff interrupts a sauntering melody, repeating itself and rising up the tempo scale, like dawn interrupting a cost night, and the sun continuing to rise with positivity.
In an orthodox fashion, the EP opens with self titles track ‘Two Decades.’ Unorthodoxly this is lyricless and vocal free song, which seems an odd way to introduce themselves, especially with the ashy voice of Josh at their disposal. ‘Playing Fields’ is a somewhat brooding track, interspersed with the odd twinkle on the xylophone and hefty beats. Ultimately though, these get too repetitive, especially for a song clocking in at over six minutes long, resulting in the feeling of being stuck in an ambient magnolia shade of a groundhog day.
The soaring chorus of ‘Una’ marks this as the track that should be a single, should it lose the two minute long intro. 3:47 through and a symphony of vocals, guitars and drums kicks in, and its moments like this, when Silent Devices work as a unit, then work best. ‘Una’ send on the gentle uplifting euphoria that became the aforementioned Embrace trademark.
‘Warm Blood’ has the harmony of all pieces working together from the off, and the immediacy of drums and direct vocals make a welcome change. Rotund notes and warm voices flicker over the song, feeling strangely soothing despite the lyric ‘you bring death to the party.’
There are impressive moments, but it seems as though Silent Devices recognise this, and are content to repeat them, leaving a pleasant enough but tepid and unexciting EP. All the ingredients are there, and by mixing them, trying different combinations and turning up the heat a little, Silent Devices have the potential to be more than just nice.