Alt Track - Silence Is Approval

Craig Broad 31/05/2009

Rating: 4/5

Alt Track are a two piece genre hopping UK band who since the debut release of EP 'A Nation Is On Fire' have been making themselves a household name throughout the Yorkshire music scene with a constantly growing list of upcoming gigs that haven't seen them slow down once since they first broke onto the scene in 2007. Their latest release and first album, 'Silence Is Approval' follows their previous release in terms of their DIY approach to self-release and promotion along with a donation per CD to a charity of their choice.

While 'A Nation Is On Fire' showed a band at their early stages, flitting between post-rock and the grandiose that we have previously heard from Muse's 'Absolution' album. The release, while well executed often felt bugged with a slightly under-par production and an unconfident vocal delivery. 'Silence Is Approval' however shows a huge growth with Alt Track distancing themselves from the Muse tag with the use of a busy drum machine and pounding bass lines underpinned by the delivery of confident political vocals that no one would of expected had they heard Alt Track previously.

Such a change in style and delivery isn't without its drawbacks though, while 'A Nation Is On Fire' may have been flawed, it was endearing, each song conveying a sense of well-timed emotion. 'Silence Is Approval' can however, at its worst, come across as extremely cold, littered in manufactured samples and voice overs rather than emotional poetic lyrics leaving some tracks feeling like 'fillers' rather than rounding off a complete album.

At the height of it's success, 'Silence Is Approval' contains the same brilliance in its delivery as we have seen within the likes of The Prodigy's 'The Fat Of The Land' and Massive Attack's 'Mezzanine' with the punk diy attitude of Pete Williams powerfully rapped vocals questioning the current state of the world as Micky Dey creates melody underneath with the help of some much needed(and very well sparingly used) female vocals creating the emotion that was, as previously mentioned, missing within the samples. Alt Track are unpredictable without being overly experimental and while they may be trying to shake the Muse comparison, they still have a way of bringing a song to stadium heights with the old fashioned use of a distorted guitar often cutting through and overshadowing the frequently used laptop samples. 'Silence Is Approval' also see's the introduction of two acoustic songs, 'Can't Sleep' and 'Silence Is Approval', which while may not be hugely memorable, add a different take on the band offering a slight breather from the electronic sound and are great additions to this album.

'Silence Is Approval' is Rage Against The Machine in a dance club, Unkle and Dj Shadow but with more melody and memorability. While this won't be the best music Alt Track create, it is certainly a fine place to start and there aren't many unsigned bands that show this amount of direction and promise. So make 2009 Alt Track's year to remember, buy 'Silence Is Approval'.