CP REVIEW: My Silent Bravery - Are You Prepared
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: My Silent Bravery
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative, Industrial Rock
Sounds Like: Cory Hart, Coldplay, NIN
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: Overactive Production (Mixing), Excessive Sonic Overdosing & Sound
Boston’s own 5 piece unit “My Silent Bravery” (formally Matt Shwachman Band) release this debut CD Are You Prepared in 2010.
Logging in at just over 44 minutes, the CD kicks things off with “Not Necessarily So” a progressive rock crescendo delivering sonic guitar attack, driving rock rhythms, & rich melodic foundation that peaks & valleys its way through to emotional fruition. Track 2 “Stunning” shifts gears a bit with mesmerizing sonic intro, eventually lending itself to progressive rock explosion delivering full tilt rhythm grooves, sizzling bass lines, & rich vocal passion from lead singer Matt Shwachman. Track 3 “Street Corner” delivers yet another impressive track with its slow moving solitary intro, eventually lending itself into an impressive heart felt ballad. The CD makes a good first impression delivering 3 solid songs in a row. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of classic acts like Cory Hart, Pornos for Pyros, Coldplay, & even NIN with respect to the some of the Industrial elements. Despite some of the influences it's quite amazing how refined the sound is. The music itself is very progressive, dynamic, and extremely unpredictable. Note for note, song for song it will definitely keep you guessing. There are also lush layers of melodic instrumentation & sonic touches sprinkled everywhere. I would classify this music as Progressive Experimental Rock with a strong emphasis on vocal melody. The musicianship of this 5 piece will leave your head spinning as they dish out some truly amazing chops along the way. Drummer (Dana Bonardi) pushes the natural accents well, bassist (Hugh Allen) lays down flowing bass lines that flutter around like a hornet. The guitar work of (Andrew Gallagher) is highly diverse & melodic, sometimes hitting hard, other times delivering classic rock vibe. Turning our attention now to Lead singer Matt Shwachman - the most impressive thing about this CD is the passionate vocal delivery of lead Singer Matt Shwachman. He has a vocal swagger similar to a Trent Reznor (NIN) Mathew Bellamy (Muse) & pushes hard like Cory Hart. He pretty much lets it all hang out emotionally on all songs, his voice is solid, & he brings a lot of entertainment & emotions to the table. I might add he takes a lot of vocal risks throughout the production indicating to me a strong & confident vocal ability. From mesmerizing “Runaway” to upbeat “Crime & Punishment” to my personal favorite “Are you Ready” to striking “Always Waiting” & “Comfort of the Sideline” to thought provoking “Faith” to powerful “Smoke” & “Shadow” this CD this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with As Above, So Below – the perfect finale statement.
It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this CD. I would however offer up 3 things. It’s obvious the production is rich in production value - like a 3 layered cake it’s packed to the hilt with all types of sonic elements designed to keep you entertained as a listener. I get that – “A” for effort. But perhaps it’s a bit too busy with respect to some of these sonic touches. There comes a time when these effects become overactive & even counterproductive. There are production risks pro-mixers takes when venturing off the fairway with these effects. It’s fair to say the CD suffers from sonic saturation, or sonic overdosing. The mix is a bit all over the place with respect to these sonic effects. I wish the production was more conservative overall. Because of all this the production spreads itself way to thin. After a while the listener loses focus on all the primaries. I also don’t like how the vocal sit within the mix – a bit hot like a BOLD FONT ALWAYS IN YOUR FACE. Over time it wears on the ears.
From start to finish Are You Prepared by My Silent Bravery is one hell of a ride. The music is highly original & creative, extremely melodic, & like the aforementioned packed to the hilt with sonic entertainment. You will have no idea what waiting for you around the next corner – that’s the best part of this musical experience. The writing and playing abilities of this 5 piece is as good as it gets with respect to the genera in question. The writing & playing abilities are world class, & finally the vocal presence of Matt Shwachman fills the space peacefully & unobtrusively.
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