Silence Kid
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Silence Kid

Parkville, Maryland, United States | SELF

Parkville, Maryland, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative

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We all are aware indie singers are in a trend of making their voice a little croaky and shy. Think Cat Power, Devandra Banhart, Feist, etc. For a lot of the music these artists put out, it works just fine. But it has gotten to a point where it’s becoming almost a requirement for indie vocalists (the ones who actually sing and don’t just yell) to sound like they’re a little scared to be in front of the microphone. Sure, it’s cute. It does provide a sharp contrast to bubblegum Top 40’s robotic smooth sounding pitch-shifted vocals. But it’s almost a trope at this point. We have forgotten indie rock does not have to be sung like you’re shy in real life.

Thankfully, indie rock now has Silence Kid.

Pinder and Chilcothe were clearly raised on early 90s grunge, “alternative rock,” and influenced by bands like The Vaselines, The Toadies, The Pixies, Guided By Voices, and The Breeders. It shows through despite the fact that Silence Kid is a very contemporary band with a contemporary sound (hey, they’re a two-piece, right?) Yet it’s hard to pin them down fully. Think somewhere between Slumberland Records and Riot Grrrl. It’s beat-heavy enough to make you forget they could use a bass player, and has warm exciting deliveries from Pinder that would please anyone who appreciates “Good Singing,” be it a jaded New Yorky scenester or a wholesome Midwestern choir member. If the trendy style of indie rock singing has the texture of crinkly craft paper in the summertime, Pinder’s texture is more like polished mahogany on a cold clear day, and just as refreshing.

When someone says “Jack Pinder is a good singer,” they mean it in the sense someone might have meant and understood in the early 70’s. This is a good thing. Instead of coyly warbling into the microphone, Pinder reminds us what the word BELT actually means when applied to singing. Dude can BELT. My only question is where exactly Pinder “got” his voice from. He doesn’t sound perma-stoned like Steve Malkmus, or emotionally unstable like Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, but somewhere in between. I can’t help but be reminded of soul and oldschool rhythm and blues singers, or even (perhaps a bit ridiculously) early 90s house jam anthems. Either way, it works perfectly with the sound they have cultivated, and his voice is really the third member of the band in many ways.

While they’re only a two-piece, Pinder and Chilcote manage to sound like they’re carved into a mountain, sonically blasting across a canyon at you. Chilcothe’s rock-solid chattering beats supply Pinder with the cannon-fire ammo he needs to lay down his chugging fuzz of guitar, and create that breadth of space they have managed to wrangle. Silence Kid is as indie-rock as indie-rock can be, but breathy confessions and cutesy singsong tunes blaming others for feelings are not what you will find in their latest release, “Thin Walls.” Pinder and Chilcothe offer vivid imagery, sometimes disjointed and surreal but more often than not with a story behind it all that rolls right along with the music. And even though their songs are strong, there is a delicate nature to them that Cilcothe’s drumming is essential to holding together. She is the glue of the band. That super powerful type you don’t ever want to accidentally get on your skin. “Thin Walls” is certainly a promising record, and if Pinder and Chilcothe continue to be productive in songwriting, and perhaps work with other producers, their next release could really define their sound and cement their place in Baltimore indie rock and indie rock in general.
- Timothy King


A band that really deserves much more attention than it’s received so far. No wheel gets reinvented here–it’s a no-fuss guitar and drums duo capable of generating the skittish pop/rock joy of the Yips (Seven Pillars of the Yips, Bonfire in a Dixie Cup)–but sometimes all you want is so good no-fuss rock. - Bret McCabe


A band that really deserves much more attention than it’s received so far. No wheel gets reinvented here–it’s a no-fuss guitar and drums duo capable of generating the skittish pop/rock joy of the Yips (Seven Pillars of the Yips, Bonfire in a Dixie Cup)–but sometimes all you want is so good no-fuss rock. - Bret McCabe


This is bare bones rock stripped down to guitar and drums. It’s everything you could want out of such a band: fuzzy riffs, snare heavy drum work, and a singer with a great, low, soothing vocal style that at times can get that kind of Marissa Paternoster (of Screaming Females) warble. Their first demo is a low budget affair, like it was recorded from 50 feet away, adding to the atmosphere. This is garage rock through and through, and is definitely for fans of genre who want the music, and not the pretension that often comes with it. - F Yeah, Queer Music


Discography

Thin Walls (self-released, 2012)

Photos

Bio

Silence Kid became a band the first day its members had ever met. Guitarist Jack Pinder got in touch with drummer Linda Chilcote after a mutual friend suggested they play music together in the fall of 2010, and that's exactly what they did that very evening--in the darkness of a house in South Baltimore so recently acquired by Chilcote that the electricity had yet to be turned on. The two were taken with each other's DIY spirit and musicianship and became Silence Kid that night.
Over the course of the next year, Silence Kid gained a loyal local fan following and became noted for their energetic performances and obvious musical chemistry.
In February of 2012, the band raised over $2,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to record their first album. Sound engineer Rob Girardi was a natural choice to produce the songs, and with his guidance over the course of two weeks, Thin Walls was born.
The songs on Thin Walls are refreshingly varied and wear their influences effortlessly; Cat Power peeks through on Jesus and My Many Exes, The Breeders on Green Rooms, Guided by Voices on Celibate Girlfriend. Songs like 13 Oberlin evolved organically through Chilcote and Pinder's collaboration, while songs like Betting Man had existed for years prior to the band but only found their true medium after they became Silence Kid songs.
Future plans for the band include a sophomore album and US tour in 2013.