The Silence Kit

In Regulated Measure

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Patrick McCay is for all intents and purposes the Silence Kit, at least on the band's debut effort In Regulated Measure, and admittedly most of the time when one-man rock bands are mentioned, one gets images of another power pop obsessive re-creating a long mummified '60s sound, again. Thankfully, McCay has a different time to aim at re-exploring, namely moody '80s post-punk and lower-key college rock of the day, something which the dark and shadowy cover art suggests nicely without actually being all gothed out. Similarly with the music, starting with "My Name Is Another Room," with stark drums, quiet guitar and piano, and McCay's understated, gentle croon/rasp leading into a brighter but no less intense second half, which suddenly surges with energy worthy of prime Chameleons or the Sound. From there, the album's seven songs make their attractively stripped-down quietly tense way, though if there's a downside to the album, it's the general sameness of McCay's approach throughout; having perfected a style with prominent bass and drums, gentle keyboard and just enough guitar, much of In Regulated Measure lives up to its name by not going beyond those bounds. As a result, songs like "Sea of My Discretion" almost function better as individual efforts rather than heard as part of a whole, and even louder brawlers like "Shake and Tremble" and "Trying Not To" tend to up the volume more than disrupt the steady flow throughout. Things vary more towards the end, happily: "Dancing to Me" deserves notice, though, for its buried, muffled drums and almost dreamy pace, while the predominantly acoustic guitar/vocal "Ten Miles Off" is compelling much like similar songs by Cranes circa Forever were. McCay's abilities are in place to explore the form and try something different for the future, but In Regulated Measure is at least an attractive souvenir of where he started.

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