Transitions [EP] Review

artist: Silverstein date: 01/10/2011 category: compact discs
Silverstein: Transitions [EP]
Released: Dec 7, 2010
Genre: Post-hardcore, emo
Label: Hopeless, Universal (Canada), Roadrunner (Australia)
Number Of Tracks: 5
With "Transitions", Silverstein have continued to refine their classic sound, keeping the fans happy while staying true to their post-hardcore roots.
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 7.5
 Overall Impression: 7
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reviews (2) 26 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.3
Transitions [EP] Featured review by: UG Team, on january 10, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 2010 was the Year Of The Tiger and the Year Of The Tweet according to Chinese citizens and Internet junkies respectively, but it was also a year injected with unexpected extended plays. There were those who shell-shocked their fans (The Devil Wears Prada, Circa Survive) and others who used the makeup of an EP to say farewell to a promising career (Lydia). Then there's Transitions, a five track release from Canadian rockers Silverstein that offers a projection of where the band is headed with their fifth full-length. Connected with a new label in Hopeless Records, the EP promotes a classic punk/emo vibe without the eye shadow and dark undertones. "Darling Harbour", soaked in a early 2000's stench, is a single you'd expect from the group's previous label with driving guitars and a chorus that uses a likable quality to overpower it's simplicity. "Dancing On My Grave" does a complete 360 spin from the beginning of Transitions with singer Shane Told breaking out with a string of unclean vocals, matching the amateur melodies spot-shined by a small town studio. Considering 2011 is supposed to be a giant leap for the group, one would expect the sound, whether it be acoustic ballads or Nine Inch Nails covers, to sound professional. Yet it's not; the material is naked, exposed and full of personality, something most albums lack when trying to maintain momentum for more than 40 minutes. // 7

Lyrics: You have five attempts, do your best. Told's responsibility as a vocalist isn't different from the tasks his bandmates deal with but given a short amount of time, it can be overwhelming. Transitions is meant to tap fans on the shoulder and say "this is who we are, take it or leave it," and instead of screaming such a statement at a high volume, the face behind the microphone serves up the EP in different courses. "Sacrifice" provides solid ground for an opener, twisting a hook around crisp guitar riffs and though it doesn't appeal to the appetite of a listener for two and a half minutes, it's outdone as "Darling Harbour" and "Replace You" kick up the honesty meter a notch, drawing comparisons to acts like pre-2005 Amber Pacific and Acceptance. There are bands that try to capture such lyrical work with whatever voice they have, but they can't because it's a dying trait, one Silverstein harnessed for few a minutes. // 8

Overall Impression: Unlike other extended plays, Transitions doesn't catapult jaw-dropping melodies at your ears. It does however, stay true to the band's (and genre's) roots, almost to a point where it seems as if Silverstein never changed labels. Is that a positive for Hopeless? Without a doubt; their roster delivers a pop jump kick but it's diverse and the Canadian quintet have the ability to spearhead the organization. If Transitions is a foreshadowing of a fifth release with a vintage heart willing to embrace punk melodies, then there's no need to argue: Silverstein have found a home. Now they're more relaxed, open and daring enough to help start a revolt with others to force 2011 to be the Year Punk Finally Ditched The Colourful Scene Image. // 7

- Joshua Khan (c) 2011

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overall: 7
Transitions [EP] Reviewed by: Kwyjibo2006, on december 24, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Canadian quintet Silverstein are back with their first EP in over 5 years: Transitions. It marks the band's first release since their 2009 album A Shipwreck in the Sand, and their first since signing to Hopeless Records. At barely 16 minutes in length, Transitions is meant to show the direction the band is taking their signature sound, and while it may not convert any naysayers, Transitions will surely please the band's longtime fans. The EP begins with "Sacrifice", a song most fans will have heard during the band's recent live shows. The song features everything Silverstein: a blend of screaming and singing (there's even a breakdown) that fits perfectly with the group's old and new material. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Transitions' next track "Darling Harbour". While it has a catchy, pop-punk feel, it's average at best. "Dancing On My Grave" is the EP's highlight. A track that could easily have come off the fan-favorite "Discovering The Waterfront", the song features plenty of screaming, great guitars, and is simply Silverstein at their best. Next up is an acoustic version of "Replace You": an enjoyable take on the original and a nice change of pace. Transitions finishes off with a cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Wish", and although the band keep the feel of the original song, the track unfortunately falls flat. // 7

Lyrics: With only three new tracks, the lyrics on Transitions don't deter much from the band's previous releases. The band have slowly brought screaming into their sound, something that will please fans who left 2007's "arrivals and Departures" disappointed. The band is still capable of blending screaming and singing almost flawlessly, and while some will find singer Shane Told's voice too (and I loathe to use the word) "emo", it's easy to hear that his voice, as well as his growls, have improved drastically over the years. Overall: an average vocal performance. // 7

Overall Impression: With Transitions, Silverstein have continued to refine their classic sound, keeping the fans happy while staying true to their post-hardcore roots. Two tracks from the EP will be featured on the band's as-of-yet untitled 2011 album, and if this is a sign of things to come, fans can expect another solid effort. Silverstein may be getting a bit boring for some but, to use an old saying: "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". // 7

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