Tuesday, November 3, 2015
The Chills - Silver Bullets
Silver Bullets begins with a dramatic intro, and then launches into the delicate and dramatic "Warm Waveform", the rousing "Silver Bullets", and the pensive "Underwater Wasteland". All three are album highlights and, in my view, compare favorably with the band's work in the '80s and early '90s. "America Says Hello" delivers political observations in a classic Chills wrapper, while "Liquid Situation" is a too-short slice of early '80s Dunedin pop-punk. "Pyramid/When the Poor Can Reach the Moon" wears a dream-pop mantle for the beginning, then transitions into an experimental rock tune, and then becomes an upbeat pop song. Track 8 is the pacy "Aurora Corona", which to my ears is one of the best three songs on the album, and may deserve release as a single, and the following "I Can't Help You" is only slightly behind it. "Tomboy" provides a more serious note before the album ends with the triumphant "Molten Gold".
This album reaffirms Phillipps' knack for marrying the scrappy South Island New Zealand guitar sound with soaring pop sensibilities, crafting pop gems that feel memorable and timeless. In terms of consistency and quality, this is among the best set of songs in The Chills' discography.
The current version of The Chills consists of Martin Phillipps, James Kickson, Todd Knudson, Erica Scally, and Oli Wilson. Silver Bullets is out now via Fire Records.
Fire Records' page for Silver Bullets
Bandcamp for Silver Bullets