Sound — 8
After around a year of relentless international touring, Silverstein are back and ready to unleash their third album Arrivals & Departures, the follow up to '05s Discovering the Waterfront. The band have roped in Mark Trombino to produce their latest album (Blink 182, The Bled, Jimmy Eat World, Finch), and he has brought his polished-yet-raw sound which he is renowned for with him. The guitars sound pristine yet a little rough around the edges, and the tones are perfect to suit the mood of the album. Dynamically, the record doesn't do much to change the formula from Discovering the Waterfront's 30% screaming, 70% singing ratio. They still have their balls-out heavier tunes and their more radio-friendly clean-versed songs, the only difference being the slightly more upbeat feel to the ones which will appeal to both the airwaves and the masses. Opening track 'Sound Of The Sun' was the first taste fans received of the new record when it was posted on the bands Myspace, and it's exactly what you'd expect from the Burlington, Ontario boys. Aggressive riffs, catchy hooks, tight breakdowns: but this is what we expect when screamo signs to Victory. First single 'If You Could See Into My Soul' has all the write hooks and hits all the right chords to make anyone in this scene bang their head.
Lyrics — 7
Granted, the lyrics are mostly about relationships (of the failed variety), and there are a fair few clich lines (such as Lying all alone, wishing you would call from 'World's Apart') but Silverstein have always open to more influences than just the girl that broke their heart, after all they have been known to cover fairly untouched ground, such as on the last record when they talked about the assassination of Julius Caesar in 'The Ides Of March' and used their lovesick songs to fit concepts ('Your Sword Vs. My Dagger' was based on Romeo & Juliet). This time, songs like 'Here Today, Gone Tomorrow' talk about the pressures of being away from family and friends on tour, but they try to keep it positive by telling the listener how there's no-one they'd rather do it with, before it all ends in tragedy their tour bus crashing on an icy road. For the most part, the lines are strangely poetic, and whilst you know Silverstein are singing about the same thing as most generic cookie-cutter emo bands nowadays, they have a certain eloquence about which they do it, which in turn sets them apart from a lot of the crowd.
Overall Impression — 7
There's nothing remotely new about what Silverstein are doing here, but at least they have the good manners to do well what bands like former labelmates Hawthorne Heights are so lacklustre at.