Sound — 7
Silverstein's fifth studio record Rescue remains fairly true to the band's sound throughout the years, and vocalist Shane Told had indeed commented it would be a mix between the previous releases Discovering and Shipwreck. While it seems more and more bands that have had the term screamo or post-hardcore thrown at them do at some point attempt traditional melodic singing to carry the bulk of the material, Silverstein is in no way following the pack. The striking balance between the sung and screamed vocals often times leads to monotony, but the guitar team of Neil Boshart and Josh Bradford do deliver enough inspired guitar work to keeps things fresh.
Rescue begins with Medication, a perfect opener because of its energy and the varied arrangements from section to section. There are some intriguing tempo changes, with the most effective being about through the way. It's at that point that the aggression takes a turn for the mellow a perhaps even more heartfelt section because it includes Told crying out the line, I'm afraid I'll never be okay. The album is full of these key moments be it in the chorus or otherwise that all the anger is stripped to reveal a much more fragile state of mind.
Forget Your Heart delivers a darker, sedate-sounding intro, but quickly the energy picks up once the vocals are added. That track features one of many big choruses, which do seem to be the areas that Silverstein shines. Good Luck With Your Lives includes sleek guitar work by lead guitarist Boshart, with the main standout part actually being played underneath the verse. Unusual additions like those do end up defining Rescue.
A few guest vocalists show up on the album, with The Counterparts' Brendan Murphy appearing on The Artist and Anthony Raneri of Bayside offering his vocals to Texas Mickey. In the case of the latter song, this was the best move they could possibly make. Told is a solid vocalist, but Raneri's delivery is so smooth with his vibrato that it completely transforms the song into something entirely different than the Texas Mickey demo (showcasing only Told's vocals), which is included as a bonus song on the CD.
Lyrics — 9
One of the most refreshing aspects to Silverstein's work is its ability to come up with unique approaches to the lyrical content. Rather than just writing in terms of emotions and feelings, there is a bit more depth and imagery. A perfect example comes in the vivid Darling Harbour in which states, In the lighthouse by the sea, at the 33rd degree; You make me feel so special and free; But there's something in the air turning stutters into stairs; I look into your blue eyes and say... In the end perhaps the biggest impression is left by the tearjerker In Memory Of, which deals with the death of a child (Words can be the most beautiful or the most cold; I didn't know what to say; To a father who suddenly loses his son; I still think about that every day).
Overall Impression — 7
The CD version does include six extra tracks, a few of which are taken from the Transitions EP. While the bonus demos' underlying arrangements remain fairly consistent with the final cuts heard on the record, the acoustic versions of Replace You and Burning Hearts offer completely new listening experiences. Silverstein doesn't offer that many surprises on Rescue, and if you're not a fan of the screaming/singing format then you should skip this one. However, fans of the band should be satisfied with the new material, particularly the approach the team of Boshart/Bradford takes with the guitar parts.