Silkworm - Developer (1997)
Cover Front Album
Artist/Composer Silkworm
Length 36:44
Format CD
Genre General Rock
Index 3951
Track List
01 Give Me Some Skin 03:33
02 Never Met A Man I Didn't Like 03:18
03 The City Glows 03:06
04 Developer 03:44
05 The Devil Is Beating His Wife 03:09
06 Ice Station Zebra 03:16
07 Waiting On A Train 03:27
08 Sheep Wait For Wolf 04:38
09 Goodnight Mr. Maugham 05:19
10 It's Too Bad... 03:14
Rating 70%
Spars DDD
Rare No
Sound Stereo
Developer takes many plays to weave its web. It's the band's most subtle album, containing some of their prettiest material. They don't assault the senses as often as usual, but it still has a couple heavy moments. Albini's again on board, and the record doesn't sound much different from its predecessor — nice crisp drums and good space between the bass and guitars. It's arguably the least of their records, and it features their ugliest artwork — odd how those two characteristics go hand in hand. It's still fine, though.
Tim Midgett's "The City Glows" is one of the albums bright spots. On earlier records, Midgett's voice tended to break off-key when he attempted to roam past his range. Here, his voice is perfect: a soft, gentle croon. Lyrics like "There's a tug of war inside my skin/Got no control over anything" would usually require a cathartic wail, but drummer Michael Dahlquist and guitarist Andy Cohen make a soft, fluffy bed for Midgett to glide on top of. Cohen's narrative title track offers some witty lines: "Met a young slip and told him to strip/You work for me now, better get on the ship/Got to ride these boys hard when they're on my time/Havanas aren't free, nor is my ex-wife." All told, there are only one or two weak songs. Not a bad good-to-crud ratio for a band's weakest record.

The noisy, bracing Seattle-based post-punk unit Silkworm formed in their native Missoula, Montana in 1987. Originally comprised of vocalists/guitarists Andy Cohen and Joel Phelps, vocalist/bassist Tim Midgett and drummer Ben Koostra, Silkworm rose from the ashes of the band Ein Heit; a prolific and eclectic group from their inception (everyone but Koostra, who exited in 1989, contributed to songwriting duties), they issued their debut cassette Advantage in 1988. After two more tapes, 1989's Girl Harbrr and its companion Girl Harbrr Out-Takes EP, the remaining trio moved to Seattle in the opening weeks of 1990, quickly recruiting drummer Michael Dahlquist to complete the lineup.

Silkworm's "official" debut L'ajre followed in 1992, spotlighting the band's evolving, dissonant sound, anchored in Midgett's propulsive bass work. After the following year's ...his absence is a blessing EP, the quartet signed to the C/Z label for 1994's In the West, recorded by fellow Montana native Steve Albini (who continued to oversee the majority of the group's work). After 1994's strong Libertine, Phelps left the band, resurfacing in 1996 under the name Joel R.L. Phelps with the solo effort Warm Springs Night. As a trio, Silkworm signed to Matador and in 1996 issued Firewater, a sprawling yet finely honed set which ranked as their finest record to date. Developer followed in 1997, and a year later the group jumped to Touch and Go to issue Blueblood. Lifestyle was released in mid-2000.