Silverstein – 18 Candles: The Early Years
Release Date: May 2006
Record Label: Victory
Silverstein formed in 2000 and only two months after the bands formation, went into the studio to record their debut EP, “Summer’s Stellar Gaze.” Almost two years later and a few changes in the bands formation, they released their second EP, “When the Shadows Beam.” The second EP helped gain the band an even larger fan base and would eventually lead to Victory Records taking notice and signing the band. After two immensely successful full lengths selling over a combined 350,000 copies, Victory Records is offering Silverstein fans “18 Candles: The Early Years.” The collection not only includes the bands first two rare EPs, but is also rounded off by two acoustic songs, three live tracks, and a remix of single “Smile In Your Sleep.”
Based on the previously paragraph, it’s a safe bet that if you’re a fan of this band then this release will satisfy your need for more Silverstein. However, if you find yourself on the other side of the fence, the album does show a different side of Silverstein that may interest people that wouldn’t consider themselves fans of their newer material.
Shane Told’s vocals on “Summer’s Stellar Gaze” are extremely different, as is most of the music contained on the EP. Told’s voice cracks and sounds just about as young as he was when they recorded the EP. It didn’t also help that he recorded all of the vocals when he was having problems with his vocal chords. Either way, Told’s wailing singing style, mixed with a more second generation emo influence, kept ‘Summer’s Stellar Gaze’ a rather interesting listen and definitely not what you’d expect from Silverstein.
In between EPs the band saw guitarist Richard McWalter leave, while guitarist Paul Koehler switched to drums and the band rounded off with the addition of bassist Billy Hamilton and guitarist Neil Boshart. On the bands second recording, their well known screamo influence starts to rear its head, while the bands mostly emo influence diminished for a heavier approach. “When the Shadows Beam” is bound to satisfy Silverstein fans more then their first EP, as it’s the closest to sounding like their two full lengths and even premiers Told’s often used scream.
Besides the bands two debut EPs, “18 Years” also offers two acoustic versions of “Call It Karma” and “My Heroine,” which are each pulled off effortlessly by Told and easily one of the best aspects of this anthology. Following are three energetic live tracks that offer a glimpse into the bands live show and would have ended this release well. However, they added a horrid dance remix of “Smile In Your Sleep” that should have never been included.
“18 Candles: The Early Years” is a commendable collection that will satisfy the bands fans. It shows the bands early stages and shows their evolution from a second generation emo band to the screamo/emo band that they are now. While a number of the songs were re-recorded for their full length and it does cut down on the number of newer songs, the release still is worth checking out if you’re either a fan of the band or interested in what Silverstein sounded like before they climbed to the top of the scene.