[Album Review] The Silkstones- The World Began With a Yes
Reader Rating: (13 Votes)

Release Date: July 14, 2017
Label: Independent
You could say that ‘The World Began With A Yes’ is quintessential Canadian rock music. You can hear shades of The Northern Pikes, The Tragically Hip and (get this one) Gowan. But this is no homage to the past — in fact, it is utterly contemporary in its indie-rockness — it’s just that The Silkstones have the outright audacity to show off their influences like flaming badges of honour.

“Shine” starts out sounding like a traditional roots rocker, but that notion is quickly dispelled when the chorus hits with its unconventional choice of chords and harmonies. Just as you are letting all of that sink in “I Should Have Known” knocks you right off your feet with its freshness, even though there’s a distinctive Beatlesque vibe in the air. “Better Alone” then really rocks out with a groove’n’swagger that’s part early ‘70s British rock and part late ’90s grunge. By the time you get to the yacht rock of “It Tells Me More (Than You Tell Me)” you realize that these guys have no intention of being predictable. And you remain entranced.

The magic comes partly from the guitar work of Dylan Jerome Wagner, who thinks nothing of shifting from country-rock chugging to glam-rock virtuosity in the blink of an eye. A lot of the ingenuity and versatility, however, comes from the vocal ability of lead singer Ryan Phillips. He can sound warm and comforting at one moment and shrieking up in high falsetto the next. But he’s never, ever boring.

Wagner and Phillips are adventurous, which makes it a challenge for some listeners. On the other hand, they aim to entertain at all times, so their flights of fancy are hardly a difficult thing to tolerate. In fact, it could be said that their “challenging”/“listenable” quotient is just the right balance. The Canadian balance.