My list of releases to write about never seems to get any shorter! But that’s no bad thing, and The Silk Road are the next on my list – with a self-titled album to follow up from their EP released in the summer last year. Back then when I wrote about it I drew parallels with both Levellers and Ferocious Dog in their sound – and that still stands. As an aside, one of my friends once described FD quite disparagingly I thought at the time as ‘Levelling the Clash’. To be fair, back then they probably had a few Levs covers in their set.
I’ve subsequently mentally reappropriated the description to be a badge of honour (maybe that’s how it was intended, to be fair!). So if Ferocious Dog are ‘Levelling the Clash’ then I reckon The Silk Road are more like ‘Levelling the Pistols’. And much like the former, the latter belies some of the intricacy and individuality on offer – but with the music often tending to the punk end of the folk-punk spectrum (although not always), and Tich’s visceral sneering vocals (although not always) it feels like a suitable pithy description.
All the tracks from the EP are reprised, along with eight companions – here we have a much more polished (without losing the bite) and varied collection of songs. So whilst I might have suggested that The Silk Road are more punk than folk, there’s plenty of glimpses at their softer underbelly in here too – with traditional energetic instrumentals like Montagu’s Harrier which featured on the EP, and the frankly lovely Elizabeth Rose which almost sounds like it could morph into a McDermott’s 2 Hours song.