Silicone Soul: Save Our Souls

Save Our Souls, Craig Morrison and Graeme Reedie's third Silicone Soul album for Soma, can be broached as the band's self-described ‘call to arms' for society to save itself from its corrosive obsession with celebrities, its crippling drug problems, and from the bland homogeneity of popular culture in general. Or Save Our Souls can be more simply enjoyed for its stellar tunes, forceful grooves, and emotive melodies, with Silicone Soul dividing its attention between dramatic night-time atmospheres and crisp tech-house bangers.

Following a brief overture (“Fearmakers”), the boys get serious with a series of extraordinary cuts, all of which pump deliciously: augmented by dubby snare hits, the driving “Damascene Moments” darkens its sleek techno burn with a brooding, almost gothic theme; an appropriately nightmarish array of spectral noises shadows a snappy minimal pulse and a slithering bassline in “3am”; and a crisp funk pulse and jazzy flute solo power the Eastern-flavoured “The Snakecharmer.” Later on, a rollicking piano part saves the euphoric house track “The Pact” from being toppled by recurrent horn blasts, and “Margin For Madness” surges just like a raving acid-house cut should.

A few missteps crop up along the way—“Venom” too blatantly borrows its bass line from “Psycho Killer” and one questions the tastefulness of its guitar and organ flourishes—but they're the exception to the rule. Those searching for a parallel for Silicone Soul might look upon Booka Shade as a kindred spirit, as both focus on boosting robust beats with equally strong melodies. Regardless, Save Our Souls impresses as an enthralling listening experience and the rare example of a 70-minute album that doesn't exhaust one's patience.

January 2007