Silent Partner

It doesn’t get much more homegrown than Buellton. The Santa Barbara band named after a Santa Ynez suburb made a strong and sparkly debut way back in 2001 with their equally localized Avenue of the Flags LP. Now, 13 years and a whole lot of “life stuff” later, the S.B. boys are back. For Silent Partner, they’ve teamed up with the fancy beer gurus at Telegraph Brewing Company for a release model that’s both thirst quenching and subtly genius. (See more about that here.) But this marketing trick is only a small part of what makes Silent Partner a solid investment. Over the course of the album’s 13 tracks, Buellton successfully resurrects the best parts of indie rock’s simpler times, channeling the big, melodic guitar riffs that put bands like Pavement and Yo La Tengo on the map. Like its predecessor, Silent Partner is marked by delicately wrought and simply orchestrated sad-core (“Mirror,” “Tyranny”), but it’s the boisterous moments that make for some of the record’s brightest highlights. In particular, “N.O.D.” is a sunny pop jam driven by frontman John Nygren’s oh-so-Stephen Malkmus speak-sing. It’s joyful, catchy, and it calls to mind Slanted and Enchanted in the best way possible. So, now that Silent Partner is finally here, let us hope we’ll be seeing more of Buellton, around town and beyond.

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