Silver Zone


Straight Line / Atlantic Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


The lessons of such artists like Marc Bolan, Elvis Costello and David Bowie did not go unlearned - at least not in the camp of the British band Glimmer, anyway.

This four-piece outfit takes some of the best aspects from the aforementioned rockers and combines them into a sound that rivals groups like The Stone Roses - and could even give Oasis a serious run for their money. The disc, Silver Zone, is both an enjoyable slab of nostalgia and a refreshing breeze in the world of popular music.

The band - vocalist/guitarist Guy Griffin, guitarist/vocalist Luke Bossendorfer, bassist Gary Ivin and drummer Martin Henderson - maintain a fresh, poppy sound while drawing on the roots of '70s glam rock, all without mimicking their elders too much. It's a delicate balance that Glimmer has to achieve in order to reach success - and, fortunately, they do just that.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

On tracks like "Velveteen," "Hideaway" and "I Know Why," you can hear the Costello influence in Griffin's vocals, though there is a bit of a Bowie sneer to them. Musically, the band sounds a bit like a more musically adept T-Rex, daring to challenge the listener with more complex rhythmic patterns throughout the album.

This is not to say that Silver Zone can only be appreciated by Mensa members. If anything, the disc makes sure to keep its pop sensibility in the forefront, assuring that listeners will get hooked into songs like "Make It Real," "Push Me Too Hard" and the title track. On songs like "Push Me Too Hard," there is almost a Stone Roses quality to the music, though it never falls into the trap of becoming too alternative.

So what sets Silver Zone apart from both its glam rock forefathers and alterna-pop bands of today? In both cases, it's a freshness that permeates the music that pushes it to the forefront in the listener's mind. The only other band I can think of that comes close in this category would be a band like Oasis - which is why Glimmer might be just the band to challenge them for the throne of British rock kings.

The only thing I can think of that might keep Glimmer down is that some people still have a fear of music that is even closely associated with the glam-rock era. (Think of it this way: besides "Bang A Gong (Get It On)", what was the last T-Rex song you heard on the radio?) But Glimmer is actually more than the sum of its roots, and if they're given a chance to succeed or fail on their own merits, I'm confident they will pass all tests with flying colors.

Silver Zone is the kind of album that you'd pick up on a lark and later on have to pry off your CD tray with a crowbar. Who knows? In due time, we might be looking at these guys to lead the charge of Brit-pop... and I have absolutely no problem with that.

2000 Christopher Thelen 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 Republic / Universal Records, and is used for informational purposes only.

Rating: B+

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© 2000 Christopher Thelen 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 Straight Line / Atlantic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.