By Tanner Bidish, Staff Writer
[Don Giovanni; 2017]
Key Tracks: “We’re Different Now,” “Nightcrawler,” “Particle Mace”
Childhood exists in memories like a cloud; distant and untethered to the constructs of adulthood. Capturing the mystique of childhood in a fuzzy opening number, subtle hints of an inherent queerness seep through the notes of Silver Haze’s first track. A child’s voice echoes the title of the track through a faded recording, calling, “We’re different now”.
The impact of the first number is the perfect appetizer for the proceeding album. Brooklyn base rockers Aye Nako densely pack their sophomore release. Quips and insights are served over a barrage of classic punk instrumentation. Classic punk themes rear their head around too; relationship anxiety, societal anxiety, internalized anxiety. Silver Haze is heavy; 12 tracks about being young and under attack is quite a pill to swallow. Aye Nako keeps it real, but they can’t quite surpass the clever charm of the record’s starting point.
Getting into the meat of the Silver Haze, “Half Dome” starts to build a stride for the album. The track starts on an upbeat roll and the guitars attack on the chorus for a jam that shows brews a rebellious spirit. “Nightcrawler” follows up, and aims for a more lulling groove. Its drive is relaxed, yet ambitious. The tonality of this track is some of the best on the album, which overall lacks variety.
The record hits a repetitive stride at its midpoint. Like using one adjective in an essay, the vibrato of guitar feedback that opens most the tracks loses all meaning. The most distinguishing factor from song to song becomes the one liners unique to a specific verse. “I have an arsenal of self-deprecating jokes” (“Muck”), and, “I guess there’s only one kind of truth / My loves only rekindled in solitude” (“Particle Mace”), are some quality lines, but the tracks they’re over run together homogenously.
The potential for a great album is there. The songwriting is good, particularly in the lyrics. However, the punk rock drone of most tracks could leave this release unimpressive to listeners.