Monday, October 17, 2011

Silverstein - Rescue

Silverstein Music/Roadrunner Records/Warner Music Australia

Although failing to hit their intended target on a few of their albums, for the most part, Ontario (Canada) based post-hardcore outfit Silverstein have remained fairly consistent throughout most of their decade long recording career.
After a somewhat lukewarm reception to their 2007 effort ‘Arrivals & Departures’, Silverstein returned with a vengeance with their follow-up effort ‘A Shipwreck In The Sand’ (2009), with their live 2010 C.D./D.V.D. effort ‘Decade (Live At The El Mocambo)’ only reinforcing their return to form. Now some two years later, the five piece outfit (Comprising of lead vocalist/additional guitarist/keyboardist Shane Told, lead guitarist Neil Boshart, rhythm guitarist Josh Bradford, bassist/backing vocalist Billy Hamilton and drummer Paul Koehler) are back with their highly anticipated fifth full-length album ‘Rescue’ – which is their first album to be released after ending their long standing relationship with Victory Records.
Looking over the whole of Silverstein’s recorded output over the last decade, it’s clear that the band have a fairly established sound and direction, with the only variation coming in the form of strength and quality of the songs themselves. So in a lot of ways, it’s not too hard to imagine exactly what ‘Rescue’ is going to sound like well before hitting the play button on the C.D. player. In that respect, there are no real surprises in store to be had. But in terms of consistency, ‘Rescue’ is undoubtedly one of the band’s strongest releases to date, with virtually no filler tracks to be found anywhere.
‘Medication’ is everything you would expect from an album opener, with the song’s slow build up eventually making way for a hard hitting track that really leaves a lasting impact. Told definitely puts in a powerful performance, and combined with the aggressive guitar work and well executed moody and melodic tail end, ‘Medication’ is definitely one of the album’s more memorable efforts.
‘Sacrifice’ (Which originally appeared on 2010’s ‘Transitions’ digital E.P.) is a worthy addition here once again with its infectious and catchy structure, while ‘Forget Your Heart’ and ‘Good Luck With Your Lives’ takes the melodic lead of the former track and runs with it, with Told sticking primarily to clean vocals for the most part on the tracks – and with great results.
From here, Silverstein deliver quality song after quality song, with those standing out including the guitar driven/screamed ‘Intervention’, ‘The Artist’ (Which features a guest vocal appearance from Counterparts’ Brendan Murphy), ‘Live To Kill’, the rocking ‘Darling Harbour’ (Another track resurrected from the ‘Transitions’ E.P.) and ‘Texas Mickey’ (Which features a guest vocal appearance from Bayside’s Anthony Raneri).
As an added bonus, this deluxe edition features a whole swag of bonus tracks, starting out with acoustic renditions of ‘Burning Hearts’ and ‘Replace You’, both of which translate well in their newfound form.
The inclusion of three demo tracks (‘Texas Mickey’, ‘Intervention’ and ‘In Memory Of...’) are interesting, but pretty much unessential after an initial listen, as too is the piano version of ‘Forget Your Heart’. But while some of the bonus cuts border on the filler side of things, the inclusion of ‘Dancing On My Grave’ from ‘Transitions’ is well and truly worthy.
While ‘Rescue’ doesn’t see Silverstein step outside their comfort zone, the album doesn’t have any real weaknesses, which means that while the album isn’t likely to win over any new fans, existing devotees will definitely view ‘Rescue’ as another great release from the band.

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© Justin Donnelly