Miles Davis said that “it’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play”. It’s when one is silent that sound suddenly becomes the most meaningful, the most necessary—moments of reflection or restraint punctuate the importance of what’s there versus what’s not. This is the case not only in music, but in history and in daily life. Framed in this way, a band named Silent suddenly seems like less of a paradox and more of an awareness. This is especially the case when considering their album title, “A Century of Abuse”, of which one could draw many connections between oppression and silence.
Created in Baja California, Silent’s music takes on various aural approaches. Interludes bring forth hypnotic sounds that have an almost cinematic quality, all heartbeat and boots on cement rhythms with sunsets on a desert landscape distortion. Other tracks take on a more fast-paced approach, sometimes even crossing barriers into catchy, surf-like guitar riffs. While Andrea Varela’s drumming, Rodo Ibarra’s (Maniqui Lazer) bass, and Alejandro Lara’s guitar lines do vary quite a bit depending on the track, Jung Sing’s (Maniqui Lazer, All Leather) vocals are a common thread throughout, consistently emitting honeyed grief: soothing but woeful, desperate and yet in no rush, perhaps calling to mind something in the spirit of a Mexicali-reincarnated Nick Cave.