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May 12 - 19, 2000

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*** One Minute Silence



This English band's sophomore effort spreads its noises loosely, widely, publicly across the aural universe. The dense occupation of a tiny and determinedly private area has been far more typical of "modern rock" -- from Nine Inch Nails to Godsmack, Drain STH, Pearl Jam, and Slipknot, too many of today's rock bands implode when they might be exploding.

But there's an entirely other mode of modern-rock thinking that's been taking over, one adapted from the past and adopted by bands like Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, and Limp Bizkit. It involves a return to the loose and open universalism of the Led Zeppelin years (with hip-hop taking the place of the blues as a foundation), and it's the approach One Minute Silence prefer. From the bitter satire of "Holy Man" to the freaks-come-out ecstasy of "Fish out of Water" to the enigmatically gloomy Europop of "16 Stone Pig" and the party beat in "Spoonful of Sugar," this band's music sings it all. You name it: bebop beats, orchestral pop, thrash, voodoo, funk, Europop, house-music dub effects, Pet Shop Boys -- One Minute Silence live up to what frontman Brian "Yap" Barry sings in "16 Stone Pig": "You never know what life will throw at you." Only one aspect of their music never seems to change: its midnight darkness. Zeppelin howled and hurt but they also smiled, even glowed. One Minute Silence never glow. Like night-flight bombers, they see just fine in the dark,

(One Minute Silence perform this Wednesday, May 17, at the Phoenix/WFNX Best Music Poll Party on Lansdowne Street. Call 931-2000.)

-- Michael Freedberg
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