Arrivals And Departures

Written by: TL on 20/06/2007 21:39:21

I realize that as a reviewer I know enough bands to always be looking forward to a new release, but even so the new album from the infamous Canadian wrist-slash-lyric-writing emocrew Silverstein is something I have been looking very much forward to for a long time, as their last record had songs on it that cling to the very top of my Last.FM chart, while making me blow all thoughts of credible and mature songwriting.

Now I'm usually the one going on about how it's a sign of artistic integrity when bands experiment a lot from album to album, but even while Silverstein at first seem to have barely changed at all save for the inclusion of some gang vocals and guitar soloing, I can't find it within myself to say something negative about them. You see songs like "Your Sword Vs. My Dagger" and "Smile In Your Sleep" were simply instant classics, displaying how even the tackiest of cliché emo-lyrics could be made to work in a more than convincing fashion as long as the songwriting quality is present, and by generally sticking to their sound, the band has been able to improve their songwriting skills as well as add plenty of small details that contribute to the character of each song. (Besides, can you really expect positive changes from a Victory band?)

What a batch of songs that procedure has produced though. The opening "Sound Of The Sun" reaches for the greatness of the earlier mentioned classics, while the almost repulsively cliché lyrics of "If You Could See Into My Soul" are bound to win you over despite their tacky dagger/throat lyrics. Just like on the predecessor "Discovering The Waterfront", the beginning of this album is a full force assault on your short time memory with five tracks filled with irresistible lines that'll have you singing along every time you hear them again. It serves as a tremendous credit to the band that they've pretty much left what could have been the 'gay ballad/anthem' of the album "Worlds Apart" untouched, not falling like many other bands for the temptation to add unnecessary pompous effects, thus avoiding taking the song over the top and destroying it's credibility. Furthermore "My Disaster" sports the first real guitar solo I can remember hearing from this band, as well as some very crowd-friendly gang vocals adding breaths of fresh air to the style.

And it's even more than just another batch of kick ass songs, because if you listen carefully enough (and enough times) you'll notice that the band seems more expressive in its old post-hardcore roots while in some places adding melodies to the songs that sound borderline pop punk-ish.

With all that being said though, there must also be room for a little criticism. While the songs on "Arrivals And Departures" are cool and catchy, no-one of them have the sheer bright burning quality of the really awesome ones on the previous record. On the other hand it should be mentioned that there aren't as deep drops into boredom which flawed the older CDs, but it would still have been better if the heightened bottom-level had not been matched by a slightly lowered top-level. All this taken into consideration, this record, while containing loads of catchy content, ends up just outside the major leagues due to it's overall lack of true super-songs and noteworthy artistic progress.

Download: Sound Of The Sun, If You Could See Into My Soul, My Disaster, Vanity And Greed
For the fans of: Hawthorne Heights, Story Of The Year, Senses Fail
Listen: MySpace

Release Date 03.07.2007
Victory Records

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