This debut record by New Orleans four-piece Silver Synthetic comes with impressive pedigree; the brainchild of Chris Lyons of garage-punk outfit Bottomfeeders, the lineup now includes members both of that band and Jeff the Brotherhood, which might go some way to explaining how they scored a deal with Jack White’s Third Man before they’d even put out their first EP (last year’s ‘Out of the Darkness’). Their self-titled debut full-length continues working to the same blueprint that they laid out on that release; on songs still tinged with the garage-psych inflections of Bottomfeeders, Chris turns his gaze backwards, channeling the forefathers of the genre from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s to deliver what is on the one hand a handsomely brisk pop record and, on the other, something altogether more off-kilter.
In its own way, the past decade or so has been a golden age all its own for fans of chiming, melodic guitar music, particularly with the rise of labels like Captured Tracks, but rather than attempt to stand out from the crowd, ‘Silver Synthetic’ plays more like an homage - channeling The Kinks on ‘Around the Bend’, nodding to the Laurel Canyon scene with the laidback glide of the guitars on ‘Out of the Darkness’, tapping into the softly fizzing energy of sixties pop on ‘Some of What You Want’. Underpinning it all - whether in the floaty vocals or subtle shape-shifting of the arrangements - is an understanding of the quiet psych weirdness that made the records they’re referencing what they were. There’s no new ground broken by Silver Synthetic here, but it’s a finely-crafted debut all the same.