Silcrow will be a new name to many, it certainly was to me as it was only when I was arranging to see them play recently that I discovered this is the new name for Close to the Bone. I was aware of that band, but had not seen them play, although I had seen lead singer Lorenzo Hazlewood undertake an acoustic set. I came away from the Silcrow gig mightily impressed, loving the way that drummer Carl Stieller keeps it grounded while 5-string bassist Conor Sutton moves between supporting the drums and providing additional melody to guitarist Oscar Miller while at the front is Lorenzo. Needless to say, I was looking forward to this.
Gently picked guitar provides the introduction, before the bass plays a few delicate notes and then we are into multi-tracked guitars with the drums providing the foundation and then just as it all starts to get raucous the guitars drop away altogether, and Lorenzo is there singing the first verse. What strikes one immediately is the sheer confidence of all involved, as there are not many rock bands who will dispense with the guitar for multiple bars before allowing it to come back in gently. There is far more passion in the chorus with harmony vocals and a threat from the guitars even though they are again being picked. The chorus ends with a few strident chords and then we are back to having Lorenzo upfront with the bass again providing the main melody and the link between the guitar and drums.
There is a huge amount of space in this recording, with the accompaniment often stepped back from the vocals to allow Lorenzo to take centre stage. By the time the arrangement becomes more dominant in the bridge the build has meant one is just waiting for something special to happen, but even the quick roll around the kit does not prepare us for the scream at the end and then it stops, dead. This is highly polished and demonstrates a rock band at the top of their game.