Review: Silverstein – A Shipwreck in the Sand

Looking back on the tenth anniversary of Silverstein’s fourth studio album, A Shipwreck in the Sand, is an interesting project and it in many ways is a snapshot of the state of the world we were living in. Coming off a slightly commercially and critically disappointing third album in Arrivals & Departures, the band felt a sense of urgency to deliver a great record. Silverstein turned once again to the Discovering the Waterfront producer, Cameron Webb, to help them create an early-career landmark album in their discography. The themes of betrayal, loss, war, and the problems with the US health care system are prevalent throughout this LP. Self-described by the band as being one of their “heaviest” records in their career, this album takes us on a four chapter journey in the form of a captivating concept record.

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Review: Silverstein – When Broken Is Easily Fixed

Silverstein

Looking back 15 years from Silverstein’s debut album is an interesting experiment, now knowing all of the great work they have put forth since. When Broken is Easily Fixed was a compilation of the band’s early EPs, Summer’s Stellar Gaze (2000) and When the Shadows Beam (2002), that were re-recorded for Victory Records under the tutelage of producer Justin Koop. The LP itself went on to sell over 200,000 units, far surpassing any expectations.

I first discovered Silverstein when my college roommate told me I needed to check out this new band on Victory Records named after a children’s book author (Shel Silverstein). That first song he played for me was “Bleeds No More.” I was immediately drawn into the aggressiveness of the track, from the dual-guitar attack of Neil Boshart and Josh Bradford, to the carefully placed screams of Shane Told, the track just clicked. Then as I began to investigate the other songs on When Broken is Easily Fixed, I became drawn to songs such as “Red Light Pledge” and “Wish I Could Forget You,” each with their own personalities and intricate guitar work, precise drumming, and incredible hooks. I really appreciated what Silverstein was aiming for on this release, and I knew that this band in particular was going to do something great in their career.

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Review: Silverstein – This Is How The Wind Shifts

Silverstein - This Is How The Wind Shifts

The idea that one situation can changed dramatically by something as innocent as where the wind blows is a compelling one – something Silverstein explores thoroughly on its latest album, This Is How The Wind Shifts. I feel like Silverstein has been one of the more underappreciated bands out of the early-00’s post-hardcore boom. While many similar acts have either folded or released poor imitations of past work, the Ontario quintet continues to challenge their selves. This Is How The Wind Shifts is proof of that, as it’s the band’s finest effort in its decade-plus career.

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Review: Silverstein – Rescue

Silverstein - Rescue

Music fans are usually faced with quite the dilemma when they are looking forward to a new record, especially if it’s coming from a band they’re particularly fond of. Do you want them to evolve – perhaps taking a leap to something you might not enjoy as much – or do you want them to stay…consistent? For the most part, the consensus seems to be that bands need to evolve to stay relevant. Grow with their audience, as some might say. Some bands do just fine by staying static, though. Look at New Found Glory: a consistent sound has lead them to become perhaps the greatest pop punk band ever. When they strayed a bit, on Coming Home, fans were generally displeased.

Silverstein is another band that has utilized a tried-and-true formula throughout its career, and Rescue, the band’s fifth studio album and debut for Hopeless Records, sees the Canadians doing more of the same. While the band won many over with its 2005 breakout, Discovering the Waterfront, fans of the band seemed to either grow more loyal or completely become disinterested when Arrivals and Departures and A Shipwreck In The Sand showcased similar sounds. The latter was Silverstein’s last record, a concept album which I considered to be fairly underrated.

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Review: Silverstein – A Shipwreck In the Sand

Silverstein - A Shipwreck In the Sand

Betrayal. Arson. Infidelity. True Love.

Two stories that parallel each other. A captain and his ship overthrown by men he put his trust into. A lover scorned by the betrayal of his woman and his best friend. A passion for fire. A concept burning with torment, confusion, and hatred. This is A Shipwreck In The Sand, and this is Silverstein’s finest offering. 

This five-piece from Ontario, Canada, have never been the frontrunners for respect in the scene. While critics continued to dismiss the band as generic post-hardcore, the band has continued to improve. Just listen to the evidence in Shane Told’s vocals. Once a shrieking mess on their debut album, When Broken Is Easily Fixed, Told’s voice now bellows with a swagger. The band has also improved musically, adding new dynamics and tempos in each album. With A Shipwreck In The Sand, the improvements we’ve heard on the previous two albums reach a maturation and refinement. 

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Review: Silverstein – Arrivals and Departures

Silverstein - Arrivals and Departures

To say I have a slight interest in Silverstein is somewhat of an understatement. It started with When Broken Is Easily Fixed. Back then, we saw a much more volatile band — perhaps verging more on screamo bands of the past like Heroin or Indian Summer rather than adhering to the number of other growing styles within the genre at the turn of the century. Despite this, there are some dead-set on railing these guys for various things simply because of their association with Victory. I’d love to sidestep into that crowd, but I can’t erase that feeling of “oh, this is something” I had when first hearing the song “November”. Come time for a third proper full-length, however, Silverstein are significantly more comfortable in the scene they’ve gradually become a staple within. Veering away from the seemingly no-limit hardcore the band grew up getting a feel for, they’ve instead implanted a sort of pop/post-hardcore venture within the confines of Arrivals and Departures

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