Silverstein – Rescue – Review

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Right around the time screamo unveiled itself as the newest growing niche of recent hardcore music, our Canadian friends, Silverstein, were riding the wave and selling unheard of amounts of records – along with (then) labelmates Hawthorne Heights, they stuck to a stagnate and rigid set of obnoxious high-pitched shouts, acrobatic guitars, and light chorus melodies, culminating in the bands break-out hit single “Smashing Into Pieces.” Much has progressed since then, as Silverstein has released several well-received albums including 2007′s Arrivals & Departures” and their 2009 concept record “A Shipwreck In The Sand,” and with each completed effort, the band became less and less hideous sounding, progressing away from simple screamo and choosing to delve into the depths of enriching post-hardcore. With the release of the bands fifth full-length entitled “Rescue,” as well as having the group exercising a slew of new music directions and business relationships, there were only thoughts of intrigue and anticipation when I first picked this record up.

Starting a new relationship with Hopeless Records and deciding to have Jordan Valeriote (Dead And Divine, Oceans) handle production duties this time around instead of their resident producer Cameron Webb, I could tell from the beginning that Silverstein definitely had something different up there sleeves. The result is “Rescue,” which takes shape as a much more solid and guided effort, both parts “A Shipwreck In The Sand” and “Discovering The Waterfront,” with a more punk spirit then their previous stabs at post-hardcore. A fact you will notice within the early moments of opener “Medication,” which alternates from bouncy pop punk verses to throaty-vocal lead, heavier riffed, chorus’. A high level of gain is also noticeable, where fuzzy guitars and clashing percussion are leveled off and managed to form a cleaner platform for the lighter side of Silverstein, such as the layered harmonized singing on “Sacrifice” and effects-driven riffage of “Good Luck With Your Lives

Rescue” though, has also muzzled some of the bands more creative outbursts, curbing unorthodox song-structures in the process, leading to tracks that predictably go through the motions and rely on repeatable chords. Case in point, the charming, yet forgettable, New Found Glory-esque song, “Burning Hearts.” A note to the contrary is the rascally quick and heavy, chug-happy song, “The Artist,” which fuels a head bang or two, while eventually leading to a climaxing bridge held wonderfully together with melodic fretwork and a mixture of well shouted and sung vocals. I’m sure we can all agree though that, from where Silverstein began, (off-tune, throaty shouts and amateur melodic hardcore) the bands evolution from rough hardcore, to post-hardcore, and then to skate punk hardcore is truly remarkable.

Early fans of the band may have moved on to more brutal tastes, unwilling to forgive the embracing of lighter material featured on “Rescue.” Those seeking a more balanced and patient outing, filled with nuanced effects-amplified guitars as well as a side that pumps out a quick punk pace, will find more than a few tracks to love on this effort. This album still has its heavy moments, but for the most part, it has permanently shed the abrasive post-hardcore of the past, in favor of a leaner, Senses Fail-like punk hardcore. And despite a predictable road map laid out for us on many songs, “Rescue” still has way more hits than misses. [Staff]

Score: 3.5 (out of 5)

Release Date: April 26th, 2011
Record Label: Hopeless Records
Genre: Punk Hardcore

RIYL: Senses Fail, Hawthorne Heights, Alesana

Track Listing:
1. Medication
2. Sacrifice
3. Forget Your Heart
4. Intervention
5. Good Luck With Your Lives
6. Texas Mickey
7. The Artist
8. Burning Hearts
9. Darling Harbour
10. Live To Kill
11. Replace You
12. In Memory Of…

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