RECORD REVIEW: Silvertung "Lighten Up"
Silvertung - "Lighten Up"
Simply put, this crisp and concise acoustic collection caught me by surprise. And what a sweet surprise it is.
Since first blasting onto the national rock scene nearly five years ago, Silvertung has built an impeccable reputation. In fact, the Baltimore-based brigade is often placed stylistically alongside many of today's most prominent heavy hitters. However, as proven with the heartfelt 2016 smash, "You & Me," Silvertung's most impressive asset is not its high-energy, bone-crushing live performances — the mightiest weapon in Silvertung's arsenal is its well-crafted songs. And that point becomes abundantly clear in the grooves of its latest offering, the acoustic collection, Lighten Up.
Produced by Steven Wright (Slipknot / Avril Lavigne), the newly-released set possesses an authentic house party vibe, as it was recorded live in front of what sounds like a very intimate-sized audience — one can even imagine the band set up in a small studio, on a huge, groovy-looking rug, while surrounded by the glow of burning candles, with the sweet fragrance of patchouli permeating the room. Groovy, indeed!
Arguably the record's strongest track, "Devil's Advocate" kicks off this six-song soiree beautifully. The warm and husky lead vocals from frontman, Speed, along with Codey Red's Latin-tinged guitar work make for an irresistible seduction. And when those contributions are pinned to the gorgeous violin and percussion accompaniment, the song transforms further — taking on an all-new identity from the original metal-charged version found originally on the 2016 Out of the Box record. Similarly engaging, "Dig" oozes a vibe reminiscent of the chart-busting Unplugged album from Alice in Chains. And while residing stylistically somewhere between "Rockstar" and "Stray Cat Strut," the stripped-down version of the Billboard-charted single, "Face the Music" is an equally powerful showcase for the band's rock solid songwriting chops.
In sum, the songs featured on Lighten Up are all allowed to breathe, shine and take on new life. And although it represents (for me) a surprise "left turn" for the band, it is once again, a sweet surprise — a record I recommend highly for modern rock fans everywhere.
-Christopher Long (January 2018)