Somewhere between the Motor City power of the White Stripes, the cool, disaffected air of Death From Above 1979 and A Tribe Called Quest’s chilled-out, murky funk, the Silent Lions preen and groom themselves. A sinister twosome of heavy drum and bass funk punk, Dean Tartaglia (bass, synth, vocals) and Matt Klein (drums) should be feeling pride: their sophomore release, the six-track EP, The Compartments, is an impeccable effort of all the qualities that still makes rock and roll so volatile and seductive. Their approach is simple and their music stripped down: charming bass lines shake their hips atop plucky, easy beats, while a synth howls with desire off to the side every now and then. It’s a smooth repertoire and the Silent Lions go down easy, cruising down their sister hometown of Detroit’s wide, luxurious boulevards in the height of American automobile comfort. Style matters, even if fashion doesn’t, and Tartaglia and Klein work within their limited palette to create a blissful dream of muted colours and huge personalities. As Tartaglia sings, “Everybody freeze,” on the track of the same name, you can picture him wrapping his sinewy body around the microphone in his best imitation of Prince, clad in the most outrageous threads and holding you hostage with his gaze.

Drum and bass duos are nothing new to the indie world. By eschewing the guitar’s stranglehold on the midrange, drum and bass duos are able to focus almost exclusively on rhythm and groove, adding moments of heightened pathos with harmonized vocals that soar above their otherwise sweaty, swampy set. Silent Lions stalk ahead of the pack, though, working sultry magic into their frenzy — their approach is as much about seduction as it is about mind-blowing orgasms, about the thrill of the chase as much as satisfaction of the kill. Keep your eye on Silent Lions and get in while you still can.

By Sebastian Buzzalino




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