The quaintly and very English named band Julie’s Haircut actually hail from Emilia, northern Italy, and they have been around for a quarter of a century. Over that time a substantial discography has accumulated, and In The Silence Electric sees the band continue with their blend of late-’60s Anglo psychedelia, motorik punk, dark sonic architecture, and the bleaker, druggy end of shoegaze, brought up to date with an unmistakable undercurrent of edginess.
The ghost of Syd plays the imp through the elfin strains of opener Anticipation of the Night, leading into the hypnotic pulse beat of Emerald Kiss, decorated with some nice growly sax playing, and then into the fulsome Spiritualised-motorik blast of Until the Lights Go Out, with its hot waves of psych-wigout guitar, and its simple but effective louche chorus. Yep, we’re off on a woozy trip through Julie’s multi-hued universe.
The contrasting moods within those first three tracks will be a theme throughout the record, as it flits between dreamy contemplation and righteous anger, and back again. A record of juxtapositions, then, which lives up to multi-instrumentalist and one of two singers in the band, Luca Giovanardi’s contention that “There is a lot of the classic dualism between sex and death on this record. Sometimes it’s more dark and gritty (In Return), sometimes it’s more elevating (Anticipation of the Night)”. Indeed, the former has a nightmarish quality to its dark industrial soundscape, a quality that will make more appearances on this record.
While In the Silence Electric does not break new ground, what it does, it does with the confidence of a band with a 25-year history, and nine albums under their belt, together with a decent following in their home country. I have played it through a number of times in the course of this scribble, but it hasn’t made a lasting impression. That’s not to say it’s a bad album, it plainly isn’t, it just hasn’t upturned my coracle. Like most bands, I’m sure they make more of an impact live than on record, and I for one will be looking out for their name on gig lists over here. At the very least they will take your mind off the soon-come unknown territory into which this sad little island is about to fling itself with apparent glee.
01. Anticipation of the Night (5:24)
02. Emerald Kiss (6:56)
03. Until the Lights Go Out (4:17)
04. Lord Help Me Find the Way (4:40)
05. Sorcerer (4:17)
06. Darlings of the Sun (4:02)
07. In Return (3:49)
08. Pharaoh’s Dream (3:39)
09. For the Seven Lakes (4:51)
Total Time – 42:00
Nicola Caleffi – Guitars, Keyboards, Percussions, Bass, Vocals
Luca Giovanardi – Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Electronics, Vocals
Andrea Rovacchi – Keyboards, Percussions
Andrea Scarfone – Guitars, Bass
Ulisse Tramalloni – Drums, Percussions
Laura Agnusdei – Alto & Tenor Saxophones
Record Label: Rocket Recordings
Country of Origin: Italy
Date of Release: 2019