Silkworm - Libertine - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Silkworm - Libertine

by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2014-04-23

Libertine, Silkworm’s third long-player, came out in 1994 and, like all remarkably underrated albums, died a quick death, as far as sales go. Now it’s been re-released and it’s a seminal album. Silkworm had been the best of genre up until 2004 when their drummer was killed by a young lady in Chicago who was trying to kill herself by crashing her vehicle into his. It was a sad ending to a great band.

The genre Silkworm fit into? If you get annoyed by the cleverness and repetition of Pavement, tackle Firewater by Silkworm. If Guided by Voices leaves you yearning for a complete song occasionally, download Libertine. If Jeff Tweedy’s Wilco sounds too self-absorbed and cute and more than occasionally dull, just download the outtakes of Libertine. If Dinosaur Jr. rip into too much of a polished riff for your tastes, plug into any Silkworm album.

Libertine is a great introduction to an incredible band from the 90s which sounded as refreshing and dynamic today as it did back then. It’s driven by off-kilter, grungy guitars and, thanks to the multi-microphones producer Steve Albini placed around the drums, has a percussive foundation like none of those aforementioned bands. The lead vocals are as cracked and broken and fragile as the Montana landscape they came from. The lyrics are complex and insightful, downright poetic at times.

You’re missing out on one of the most influential bands of all time if you haven’t experienced a Silkworm album. The re-issue of Libertine is a great place to start. 

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