Formed by the songwriting duo of Tom Brogan (Vocals, Guitar) and Duncan McCormick (Guitar, Backing Vocals), a couple of old school pals with over 10 years experience playing in a variety of bands across Glasgow’s music scene, Silver Haar were birthed during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic as a much- needed creative outlet. Rounding out the group are Kev McCormick (Guitar), and Cammy Maxwell (Bass) and Danny Robinson (Drums).
Channelling their love for 80’s indie guitar bands at their most rousing (think Head On The Door era Cure, Creation Records era House Of Love and The Pixies of Doolittle) mixed with more contemporaneous stuff like We Are Scientists, Biffy Clyro & Radiohead, these influences shine through with ringing arpeggios, impeccable melodies/ harmonies and the all-important anthemic choruses that find triumph in the melancholic ennui entrenched in the Scottish character. Much like fellow Scots The Jesus & Mary Chain before them, Silver Haar are also Happy When It Rains.
Lights Out lays down the mission statement straight out the gate. The guitars shimmer plangently in the intro, only to be shot forward suddenly by the arrival of a driving rhythm section and a Robert Smith-esque lead guitar line that counterpoints beautifully with synthesised strings bearing a trace of The Queen Is Dead era Smiths. These “simple lines intertwining” (to quote Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnell) explode the whole thing into an epic widescreen Technicolor landscape, though probably that of a Douglas Sirk melodrama rather than a John Ford adventure picture.
A strong vocal melody (supported by gorgeous harmonies) pushes us through into a chorus that contradictingly sounds celebratory despite the words we’re hearing – “Lights Out/We’ll never be free.” Are we entrapped by dead-end careers, a romance that’s long lost its spark, some other form of subjugation or all of the above?
“The lyrics are elliptical enough to deny a solid answer, but one thing’s for sure, whatever’s keeping us in chains is likely of our own making and it’s rarely sounded so joyous.”