Silverstein - Transitions
Record Company: Hopeless Records
Release Date: December 7, 2010
When I heard Silverstein was leaving Victory Records, it was a bittersweet moment. I was thrilled because I've always felt that the band was beyond most of the talent there and deserved more recognition, yet I feared moving to a different place would in some way take away from their sound. While Hopeless wouldn't have been my first choice personally, it seems my fears were premature and pointless. Silverstein delivers once again on their wonderful first EP with Hopeless, Transitions.
"Sacrifice", the first song I heard from the new release, is a killer opening, featuring Silverstein's familiar heavy verses while maintaining a catchy punk chorus. Shane Told's vocals are as refined as ever; his ability to switch from clean vocals to harsh gut-wrenching screams is unmatched. The EP is definitely not without its softer moments, however. "Darling Harbour" and "Replace You" are as soft as you'd expect from the band, the latter an acoustic-only track, reminiscent of A Shipwreck in the Sand's "The End". Both feature extreme emotion, especially in Told's lyrics. "To watch you fade, and watch you change into someone I can't face/Now I can't replace you". Not much has changed with their lyrical themes, but it's still extremely satisfying to hear a band do it with such consistent validity.
Also featured is a Nine Inch Nails cover of "Wish". It's a different style for the band, but considering the source material, it's a wonderful cover that does the original -- which won a Grammy -- big time justice. Production is the best of any previous Silverstein albums. It's obvious that when they signed to Hopeless, the funds came with it. Musically, not much has developed so much as it has tightened. The guitars are crunchier and heavier, and the drumming is faster and punkier. It's a satisfying display of power from this band.
Overall, the band delivers an EP that pokes and prods at my curiosity and leaves me hungering for the next LP, as it should any Silverstein fan. It's not that creative, but it's more loose and fun and depressing, much like their Discovering the Waterfront album. It won't disappoint old fans, but it won't draw in much a new crowd either as it lacks any real new elements. Yet in a way -- looking at A Day to Remember's disappointing new album -- I'm kind of thankful for that.