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Then Comes Silence - Trickery (Metropolis Records)

7 May 2024

Although relatively new to me (sorry about that, totally my fault), over the last few singles, I have come to realise that Then Comes Silence does that thing that so few bands at the post-punk/gothic/alternative interface get right. Generally, bands pursuing such sounds get so focused on the grandeur and the darkness, the otherness and the anthemics, that they forget that one crucial thing. They forget to write a good song. And by good, I mean accessible, immediate, infectious…memorable. The result is often a set of songs that are big and clever, which define a sound or style but which quickly disappear into the landfill of nostalgia and fleeting fashion where songs that were not quite up to the task at hand go to die.

Trickery is not such an album. Then Comes Silence is not such a band. I’m not saying that there is anything pop-ish about their music, but they employ many of the same hooks and tricks, moves and grooves that keep the best pop music on the radar. And so, alongside their alternative rock weight and post-punk cool, gothic shade and electro-sheen, you can also say that the band is at least pop-aware.

And because of it, Trickery is an album full of truly memorable songs, songs that ebb and flow between the underground and the mainstream, the alternative and the chart-friendly, friends of the discerning music fan and the pop-picker alike.

“Ride or Die” makes this point immediately, opening up the album with something that blends Depeche Modes dark electronica with The Mission’s grand rock creations. But take almost any track, “Like A Hammer’s” electro-groove, “Stay Strange’s” blend of blustering and busy guitars and Doorsian interludes, “The Masquerades” sophisticated sonic seductions or “Never Change’s” foot-on-the-monitor rock and roll and you find something that is both strange and other, yet infectious and totally accessible.

Rockers will love the scale and weight of the music. Goths will get the shaded grandeur. Dance divas will adore the grooves. And pop kids of all persuasions will find these songs as accessible and exciting as anything else doing the rounds today.

Underground music fit for the mass market. How cool is that?

Stay Strange
Trickery album order
Apple Music