Silverbacks - 'Dunkirk'


Silverbacks provide an arty and realistic dystopia with their new track, ‘Dunkirk’.

 ‘Dunkirk’ is a track that you can tell is instantly timeless. Silverbacks have created a sound that belongs in the 1970s CBGB New York punk scene alongside Talking Heads and Television. Yet, it is still fresh for the 21st century. 

On top of the foundation of a Gang of Four style bass line by Emma Hanlon, the opening riff is like a fairground ride building intensity and tension. It’s played with precision and menace, whilst Daniel O’Kelley sings under the influence of Jonathan Richmond and dissatisfaction: ‘I hurt my soul, my soul is hurt on a private beach in Dunkirk’. The idea of the ormer battle grounds of the Dunkirk beaches becoming a holiday resort for couples in failing marriages is reminiscent of the Sex Pistols’ ‘Holidays in the Sun’.

Gary Wickham is like a human metronome. He never lets the beat escape or overpower him, no matter how disorientated the rest of the music becomes, particularly during the insane musical interlude full of fuzz and high pitched Wild West high note licks.

Television is a key reference point with this track. The guitars are clean, yet riff-laden and clever. The outro changes the feel of the song dramatically as a new riff comes out of nowhere, for the better of course. This is where Silverbacks stray into indie territory whilst keeping the music intelligent and arty – a lot like any track off Marquee Moon would.

Words by Matthew Brocklehurst