City Paper is not for tourists
Night and the City, the noirishly named debut album of D.C.’s Silo Halo, moves through a lot of sonic territory in 30 minutes: gloomy post-punk, damaged troubadour ballads, woozy yet tense dream pop. Yeah, it’s mostly quite downcast, and throughout, it showcases an appetite for goosebump-inducing guitar feedback—two choices that turn out to be useful bonding agents for a band with three songwriters working in styles that aren’t necessarily complementary. Guitarist-singers Christopher Goett, Christin Durham, and Greg Svitil did time in the groups Girl Loves Distortion, Victor Victoria, and The Antiques, respectively, and the democratic writing process they’ve touted in interviews is clearly working: For all its genre catholicity, Night and the City makes a more cohesive statement than just about any other local indie-rock album I’ve heard this year. If anything stands out, it’s “You Don’t Dream,” one of several duets between Durham and Svitil: It’s got a mean and moody bass line Martin Hannett would love, layers of spectral synths and sonic detritus, and delicate touches when they’re needed. Eeriness, at least in Silo Halo’s hands, depends on some pretty careful alchemy.
Silo Halo performs with The Mean Season and Golden Looks at 8 p.m. at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-4490. blackcat.com.