Silent Running

  • Silent Running
  • Emotional Warfare (EMI America) 1984 
  • Walk on Fire (Atlantic) 1987 
  • Deep (Atlantic) 1989 

If Belfast bands are generally esteemed for their passionate intensity, someone forgot to tell Silent Running. Emotional Warfare (released abroad as Shades of Liberty) contains slick humdrum dance-rock with only Peter Gamble’s Bonoesque bellow to suggest — if not generate — any enthusiasm. The pounding “Emotional Warfare” is as good as it gets, and that’s not very. The eager-for-airplay Walk on Fire reduces Silent Running to a quartet (the keyboardist left) and comes on like a dull hybrid of the Fixx and Bad Company.

Recorded by a drummerless trio, Deep is the best of a sorry bunch. The first two tracks on each side are invigorating blasts of determined and confident-sounding U2-conscious 4/4 guitar rock, but elsewhere the record runs aground on Bryan Adams’ soundalikes and metalhead power ballads.

[Ira Robbins]