Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium

Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium

American indie rock band Okkervil River are back with their seventh studio album The Silver Gymnasium.

Inspired by singer Will Sheff’s teenage years in a small town in New Hampshire during the 1980’s, this record is brimming with nostalgia for a time now past.

Leading up to the release of the album, the band even created The Silver Gymnasium video game. The video game was inspired by games Sheff played as a kid such as Leisure Suit Larry and Manic Mansion and features songs off the album.

Thick with references to a time when we had VCR’s, Atari’s and cassette tapes, The Silver Gymnasium is an honest and fond retrospect back to an awkward phase that everyone goes through.

The opening track and the first single “It Was My Season” is a trip back to your high school love in the summer time. “Down Down The Deep River” is a tribute to your best friend and featured the great nostalgic lyric, “Tell me about the greatest song you’ve taped off the radio.”

“Lido Pier Suicide Car” is a stripped down and raw track about drinking in bars at happy hour among other things. It’s at this point in the album that the songs start to shift from feelings of summer love and hanging with your best friend to some of the darker moments of being a teenager.

“All the Time Every Day” is really at the heart of many teenage experiences when you feel so low and when “you could do so much but you do fuck all”. “White” has a very Lou Reed feel about it with Sheff’s deep and monotonous vocals.

Overall there is a prominent pop feel to this record that suits this greatly alternative band. Okkervil River have made a musically and lyrically enjoyable record. Sheff’s wonderful word plays and multi-layered lyrics are delightful and captivating. He truly is a lyrical wizard who makes it seem effortless.

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