With Ghost, Masaki Batoh pushed the envelope of what psychedelic music could be. With his new band The Silence he seems to be exerting a firm hand as a band leader. While the tracks on the self-titled debut from The Silence, out next week on Drag City, are indeed trippy, they are also anchored by the band's exceptional playing and a strong sense of song-craft.
While "Jewels in Tibet" has a country-ish twang to the guitar-lines, a cover of Can's "Tango Whiskeyman" exudes a genuine catchy vibe. The lovely "Triptycon" uses the flute to create a pastoral mood even as the song otherwise displays a few flashes of more experimental music. "Pesach" rocks with prog-rock abandon while the album closes on the quieter, near chamber music "Overture" with its violins and flutes.
Like the best music from Ghost, the music of Masaki Batoh's The Silence is similarly challenging and expansive. Still, things here feel easier to grasp at times. The Silence by The Silence is a lovely record and it's sure to please old fans and possibly serve as a bridge to new ones.
The Silence by The Silence is out on Tuesday from Drag City.