The Blue Law
Hailing from the music mecca of Austin, Texas, Silver Scooter has more up their sleeve than their tweed-out name would imply. The Blue Law, their fourth album on Peek-A-Boo Records, finds them writing sophisticated post-Pavement melodies and lyrics, all covered with a patina of mid-America ennui. This is beautiful sorrow (don’t worry, nothing self-indulgent or refried-gothic about it). References to the steadily dismal Midwest should ring true with all those who’ve lived in places that could be anywhere west of the Mississippi. For this reviewer, such is the imagery evoked on the second track, “Blue Law”: “Living in a house near Indianapolis/Turquoise planks and beer’s not sold on Sundays.” The style, both lyrically and as far as instrumentation goes, is reminiscent of Luna on Penthouse, but maybe even sadder and more dejected and melancholic. Silver Scooter also seem to have an affinity for R.E.M., Pavement, New Order, and possibly, Vic Chesnutt. They’re very capable of channeling their influences into a distinct sound. It’s not the sort of music you’ve never heard before or the kind of sound that makes your brow crinkle with puzzlement. But Silver Scooter’s humility, or possibly disinterest, regarding the whole originality vs. secondary source quandary, is refreshing. “I know I’m not original, or even typical,” sings Scott Garred on the opener, “Goodbye.” That’s quite all right. Songs as superb and timeless as Silver Scooter’s need not reinvent the wheel.
Peek-A-Boo Records, PO Box 49542, Austin, TX 78765; http://www.peekaboorecords.com