I’m really trying to put a finger on why I love Silkworm so much, and the nearest I can get is this:
I really grew up on my Dad’s records…the Stones, CCR, Neil Young, etc. There’s a certain part of me that – although I have grown to love all sorts of music – weird post punk, hip hop, electronic stuff, noisier rock, punk, metal, world music, jazz, etc etc – there’s a certain part of me, way down in the lizard brain, that loves classic rock in a way that that stuff can never touch..
just thinking of stuff like “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” or “Lodi” by CCR or “Rocks Off” by the Stones…like music that basically gives you that “Four beers deep” feeling J0hn mentioned upthread, where you feel a something in your chest and you just want to rip your heart out cuz it’s so anthemic and real and makes life seem so awesome and rocking
But at the same time, you can’t just be stuck in those songs because there aren’t any more of them being made, and any band that tries to be *actual* classic rock is going to fail. Those days are gone and it just seems fake and it won’t even sound like those records sound.
So I guess for me Silkworm was a band that gave me those feelings of real “bro” classic rock, but at the same time they acknowledged and used influences from all the other stuff that changed how i viewed rock music – fugazi and mission of burma and sonic youth and the minutemen and gang of four etc – they were a part of that world two, the whole lineage of the “this band could be your life” era
they were able to combine the strange angles and skronk and sorta impenetrable lyrics and sometimes odd sounding chord changes and rhythmic hiccups in a way that still felt as anthemic and huge and heartfelt and full of everything as all the old music did…..but they weren’t pretending to be like “hey we’re a throwback to the old days” either like kings of leon or dudes that have a whole “let’s bring OLD TIME ROCK BACK” jive.
basically they were exactly what i need out of rock, or at least a big part of it.
also a lot of the stuff i just posted might not make total sense when you read it, but i makes sense when i feel it.
(this also figures into why i think Lifter Puller was a great band and Hold Steady is only a good band)
— Matt H. over on ILX from a few years back, in what remains one of the best summaries of loving a band and parsing the exact reasons why and how I’ve ever read. My own connections and experiences are different, and my own favorite bands are others with different aesthetic concerns, but Silkworm were indeed that great.
Matt really nailed it.