In light of the considerable Brooklyn cadre of bands that have taken wholesale ownership of the sounds of The Clean and The Chills, its nice to see a band return after nineteen years and teach a few kids how to wield the tools. Following Fire Records' issue of the BBC sessions last year, the seminal band returns to the forefront, seemingly having picked up their sound where Submarine Bells left off and brushing aside some of their 90's missteps in the process. The band was one of the "success" stories of the Dunedin scene, though that hardly leaves The Chills as a household name. The most they could really claim is College Rock hits and we all know how much currency that carries in the long run. Silver Bullets , for the most part, is strung through with a thread of politics that winds without weighing it down. Here, they feel more like a band aging with grace, taking the musical lessons of their youth and giving a bit of heft from the adult table. In many ways it cements them as contemporaries with R.E.M., finding a voice that echoes through generations. Though its not the lyrics that truly steal the stage here, its Phillips' melodies and snake charmer guitar lines; forever reminding us that The Chills knew how to chime before you were out of Velcro trainers.
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