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SILENCERS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Rock 'n' Roll Enforcers (Precision) 1980
Romanic (Precision) 1981

Despite a solid grounding in gritty rock'n'roll and a bit of new wave imagination (mainly expressed in weedy organ), this tough-looking Pittsburgh quintet never got the chance to develop. Caught somewhere between Southside Johnny, the Yachts and the spot later occupied by the Godfathers, these Silencers (as opposed to the Scottish group of a few years later) was naïve enough to buy into lame image-mongering but talented enough to put the derivative material across with superior bar-band panache. The Silencers made two solid (if now-dated) albums — Romanic is significantly superior — with some good songs (like "Illegal" on the first and "1 of Those Girls" on the second) before vanishing. Too bad. These guys coulda been contenders.

[Ira Robbins]