White Diary


Bad Afro Records, 2004


REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow


The album cover suggests sleaze punk but the opening sounds from the first track on White Diary suggest a message much more urgent and darker than the songs that musical genre is known to haphazardly produce.

Spawned from the same turbulent Norwegian underground as their deathpunk forefathers Turbonegro, the band Silver cast a spell even more mystical than than that band's early recordings of the mid '90s with the band's White Diary release. Credit the guitar tones of Bee Buzter and Amy Jubb in collaboration with the sonic's delivered by vocalist Blanco Summer for generating an album that largely comes across with repeated pleas of despondence. The guitar riffing is kept in check and thus the result is decidedly built around the basic structure of three-chord rock n' roll.

Having previously released a couple of acclaimed, faster-sounding EPs prior to the recording of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 White Diary, Silver recapture that frenzied vibe on this release with the inclusion of the magnetic "Gentlemen's Blues (Riot 1-2-3)," a track only explosively rivaled by "Evacuate! (Sin Fix Journal)." Chaos aside, the track "Condem Nation" inspires memory of the Sex Pistols and "The Dark Side of the Light" hits the same opening dungeony guitar note that is found on the Turbonegro hit"Get it On" before settling into an airy track with the same gothic overtones that the Smashing Pumpkins were known to fashion back in the day.

On one hand, it's refreshing to see Silver evolve in their short existence to date with songs that hit different tempos. And while I have to imagine the band blisters the harder numbers in a live setting due to the undercurrent of hype that adorns this release, I'm going to predict the band's future success will be tied to the slower and more musically complex numbers on White Diary such as "Angels Calling" as Summer's voice is the natural selling point to the material. His natural forlorn ability in casting his voice suits the gothic sound of the band in a way that's much more dynamic than the output that most punk rock vocalists are known to deliver.

Fortunately, White Diary sends a signal that the band has the lyrical creativity to move forward as the release includes nine original tracks to accompany just one holdover from their latest Riot 1-2-3 EP release. Lately, I've seen many bands recycle previous EP works on their first LP to only fall from grace when they are in the studio working on their follow up full length album. A band that was cast from the same musical sleaze rock mold and resides only a couple hours away from Oslo, by the name of Hardcore Superstar, vividly comes to mind.

On the horizon, Silver is scheduled to perform as a part of the Norwegian band showcase at the highly regarded SXSW festival (Austin, TX) in March with the probability that they'll come across as seasoned veterans despite the fact that White Diary is just their first full length release. Having performed in over 200 gigs to date, including billings on previous Quart festivals in addition to five separate club tours through Germany, Bad Afro Records truly believes in pinning their motto "pushing Scandinavian rock to the man" to this sponsorship.

I'm inclined to agree that Silver and White Diary is a wise choice in the matter.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2004 Chris Harlow and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bad Afro Records, and is used for informational purposes only.