Now its been a few years since I last saw Blue Peter but I’d happily put a fiver on there still being a ‘sticky back plastic’ segment whereby an assortment of household waste is glued together to form some innocent, yet slightly demented, nativity scene.

The said sculpture usually gets wrapped up in even more household waste and presented to an unsuspecting granny on X-mas day who feigns utter delight in vein attempt to keep the parents happy so the sherry comes out early.

I’ll be honest here and say that with the first glance of Silverscreen’s demo I could seriously empathise which how dear old gran felt. Here we have a demo which looks as though its been slapped together without the aid of an adult – the finished artwork being a page ripped out of an exercise book, folded into a vague sort of cover and held together with one meagre strip of sellotape. The accompanying biography also does little to get the adrenalin flowing as serial references to the Chilli Peppers appear like a bad case of acne in the one uninspiring paragraph on offer.

That said Silverscreen seem to have got themselves a decent logo, judging by the header on the biog. So boys, there’s a lesson to be learnt here. If you want your demo to survive being chucked in the bin before it hits the desk of any record exec then drop the Blue Peter approach, use your logo, get yourself a decent demo cover and write an inspiring and creative biog.

Lesson over, and with expectations not exactly stratospheric, its time to tentatively put the CD in the stereo.

Starting like something the Doves conjured up before breakfast, ‘Sign of the Times’ creeps into life with a melodic guitar plucking away at its three notes before the drums kick in properly to go from first to third gear in the blink of an eye. Rocky by intent this is essentially an indie foot stomper comprising of an uplifting verse dropping into a gently building bridge leading to the catchy, big, but slightly clichéd chorus. The vocals are soft, clear and confident but also have the ability to move up a notch or two when needed. However, it’s the tempo changes of the bridge, from the melodic to pacey, which really catches the ear and sets up the chorus nicely, giving this slightly formulaic tune a real edge.

‘The Brightest Stars’ is a laid back, almost easy listening track with a slightly funky underbelly and an Eagles-esque blues guitar. There is a Crowded House vibe going on here which is no bad thing as the interesting chord progressions are subtle enough to allow J’s vocals to really shine, while maintaining enough rigidity to keep you swaying on the spot.

Finally, last track Tequila Straight carries on the lounge music theme but this time with extra funk in the form of a good old wah guitar and a grooving bass. Unfortunately the chorus is not a strong as should be to do this song justice, letting it to come and go without you noticing too much. I have a feeling it is more of a grower then a shower however, the good things going on here are somewhat lost in the, at times, slightly congested mix leaving it not as punchy as it should be.

So the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for the Sunday set then? No chance as, despite a trickle of Frusciante influences in the last tune, there is nothing on offer here that comes close to what the Chillis have served up over their long career. That said the biog references to Al Green are certainly bang on as far as J’s vocals go with the obvious leanings to likes of Crowded House in the music.

Not a bad effort but I’d bet it would sound all the much better to a record exec with a decent cover and good slice of top notch press release served on the side.

Written by Habert on

Pete Habert was sub-editor for The Mag and co-ordinated submissions from the swarm of writers that contributed articles from their local music scenes.

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