The Parisian group Os Noctambulos are back with a follow up to their 2016 album Stranger. Silence Kills showcases a slight maturation from the band without sacrificing the ‘60s inspired surf punk sound. A real treat for fans of garage rock and that woozy surf punk style, Silence Kills is a great album with a mix of hard punk beats and laid-back tunes.
The band pride themselves on their growth but if you’re a fan of their previous work then don’t be put off by this statement. There is clear evidence of maturity throughout Silence Kills with the inclusion of synthesisers and string sections that offer a surprising harmony with the garage rock aesthetic. Tracks like The Day We Touched The Sun are much more than just a ‘60s throwback tune as a result of the instrumental variety.
And yet the feeling of the ‘60s never leaves the album. The guitars are punchy with a distinct reverb treble that sets the tone for most of the album. The bass lines walk for miles, with Flowers of Evil featuring a particularly moving bass riff. Vocals from Nick Wheeldon display a somewhat fascinating range, being able to dance between soft heartfelt lyrics to punk rock wailing.
Despite the clear ‘60s surf rock inspiration along with the ‘90s garage rock aesthetics, the album never feels anything but contemporary. This is one of those albums that has the potential to escape genre. Garage surf punk sounds like such a comical niche but really any rock fan should give this album a listen. There are no bad tracks here. Each one is guaranteed to get your foot tapping, if your whole body isn’t moving.
If a three-year break between albums can lead to this then maybe more bands should be taking that length between albums. Silence Kills is a fantastic record.