Yesterday I woke up and told myself I was going to get into Silkworm. It half worked. I have no idea why Silkworm are repeatedly classified as indie rock, touted alongside Pavement and the likes. They’re not, even a little bit. There is none of the casualness, the sloppiness, the lazy charm, the humor that “indie rock” bands have (ok, maybe the humor, the band did record a great song called “Shitty Little Yacht,” about settling for a used yacht and realizing, hey, it’ll work great). Silkworm are a punk band, albeit one who have spent their career on two indie powerhouse labels (Matador and Touch and Go). They’re a punk band who sound old and tired even on their first releases, like they had originally formed the band back in high school, broken up, and then found each other twenty years later between mortgage refinancing. They had a drummer who could probably knock spy satellites out of orbit, a bassist who sounded more like a guitarist, and guitarist who fell in between thin and wiry and loud and burning. But what was great about this old fogey punk band unlike so many others (Lungfish, The Jealous Sound, The Smoking Popes) is how convincingly they sound young. I mean, you can tell that it’s not genuine, that these guys aren’t actually twenty, that there drummer SHOULD be playing with more of a backbeat and resting his wrist on the ride cymbal, but somehow they don’t, they play it like a VFW show. Maybe they had oxygen tanks ready after every take, I don’t know.
Like any good punk band, there are one to three songs on any of their full lengths that make you want to throw rocks at the wall and fake seizures and listen to them over and over and over again, and then there are a buncha other which range from “ok!” to “ok…” I’ll given you the best of the best.
I just got the Throw Me The Statue album. It’s their first, and it’s pretty good, and I’m told it’s a grower. Unlike Silkworm, this is Indie Rock. Cheap sounding (drum machines that you know would sound better live, production the band probably shouldn’t have paid full price for), lyrics not only a mother will love, and a smile that you know is fighting hard to stay on that face.