"A Shipwreck in the Sand" (Victory; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

With "A Shipwreck in the Sand," Silverstein pens a concept album based on relationships and how they break down due to certain circumstances. The album is broken down into four chapters. (You can get some extra songs by visiting iTunes but those songs are covers and don't go with this album concept.)

Chapter One: It Burns Within Us All
Chapter Two: Liars, Cheaters and Thieves
Chapter Three: Fight Fire With Fire
Chapter Four: Death and Taxes

The stories are about a vessel that sets sail to find new resources and new land but soon the revolt is on because the relationship breaks down because of the lack of vision. Another story tells about a family whose house burns down (see album cover) and they cannot collect insurance money, thus the American dream breaks down.

I've listened to a lot of Silverstein and I pleased to say that this CD earns three guitarsaws. They finally got it right in my opinion. There are some guest vocalists on this disc: Liam Cormier from Cancer Bats and ex-Comeback Kid singer Scott Wade. Lights (born Valerie Poxleitner) appears on the last track titled "The End." That song has an acoustic intro but it picks up during the chorus. Lights sounds like Vanessa Carlton.

There is a bonus DVD that can be found with some pressings that includes videos, black-and-white stills plus behind-the-scenes stuff filmed by Josh Bradford.

Silverstein: Shane Told – vocals; Neil Boshart – guitar; Josh Bradford – guitar; Billy Hamilton – bass; Paul Koehler – drums.

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"Arrivals & Departures" (Victory; 2007)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

If the guitarsaw rating was neon, you might see it flicker to a full three. Even though this band has some good chops, they just don’t have enough to allow the “Killer” label under the rating guide.

Silverstein is named most notably after the children’s author, Shel Silverstein. Silverstein has the currently popular Jekyll/Hyde vocals often associated with emo / screamo. I picture the guy singing calmly, and wearing a skinny tie, then vomit boy comes out of him and splits his head with a bat. If these bands who embrace this style of vocals would just employ two guys -- one who sings and one who screams -- they could probably create some kind of killer show for the fans (there is even a DVD on The Zen Of Screaming, no kidding).  

Anyway, back to the review (sorry, I forgot who I was for a second there). The guitar sounds good in parts and is pretty strong throughout. There are some little solos every now and then but not enough to fill a thimble. There is a strong guitar presence and though the riffs aren’t memorable but they are well played. Other than that, the drums are powerful and the drummer beats the snot of out them continually.

I’ve listened to a couple of Silverstein's earlier releases and I can tell they are improving with each CD they put out. Maybe a few more and they will have paid their dues and receive the rewards most think they should already have. This disc is strong and you won’t be staring at your shoes if you see them live. I just can’t applaud Silverstein’s style of music ... but maybe one day. 

Silverstein: Billy Hamilton – bass; Josh Bradford – guitar; Shane Told – vocals; Paul Koehler – drums; Neil Boshart – guitar. 

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"18 Candles" (Victory; 2006)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Cleaning out the closets, Silverstein unfurls its early material thanks to Victory Records, as the 70-minute offering "18 Candles" documents the band's fledgling days. 

Complete with bonus tracks and an excellent album jacket to boot, this fan-friendly release truly gives the listener a nice chunk of music to sink their teeth into. 

While the band sounds way more advanced today, for those that need to get up to speed, this release is the most efficient way to do so. 

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"Discovering the Waterfront" (Victory; 2005)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Silverstein is a hard working hardcore/punk/emo outfit on Victory Records. "Discovering the Waterfront" is pretty solid, easy-to-like music that's just plain ... well, just plain. Nothing except the screaming vocals ever seems to get moving on this release. 

Don't get me wrong: This CD doesn't need to be used as a coaster only. However, "Discovering the Waterfront" lacks any real imagination or drive and the band seems to just go through the motions. The end result is a vanilla type album that doesn't stand out from any others.

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"When Broken Is Easily Fixed" (Victory; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Silverstein's "When Broken Is Easily Fixed" is above average emo and/or screamo, but not above average enough to really stand out in a genre that -- like modern pop punk -- tends to sound all the same.

"When Broken" has got plenty of aggression, with throat-tearing scream breaks, solid, hardcore guitars and a balance of rough to clean that's nearly perfect. The songwriting here gives the songs a fresh feel, combining punk rawness and hardcore power, and fans will like the familiar yet somehow different twist on the genre.

Still, this CD is for fans only. "When Broken is Easily Fixed" won't bring any new fans to the band ... or the genre ... but it will readily entertain those who find this style of music to their liking.

Silverstein: Shane Told - vocals; Paul Koehler - drums; Neil Boshart - guitar; Josh Bradford - guitar; Billy Hamilton - bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:20 -0400.