Silverstein, Arrivals and Departures

Silverstein, Arrivals and Departures

Inside the liner notes for the promo copy of Arrivals and Departures reads the line, “Many great bands have broken new musical ground over the years, SILVERSTEIN is ready to do the same right now with ‘ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES’.” Well, they’d better hurry, because the malls are closing and the kiddies are growing up. I’ve come to think bands that fall into the category of emo/screamo are one step away from becoming the next “Where are they now?” hair-metal bands we all loved in the ’80s. Just like Dokken stole the same brand of hairspray Poison killed the ozone with, Silverstein takes cues from so many emo clich├ęs — but hey, it’s rock ‘n roll. We take from what influences us.

Arrivals and Departures seems like a solid album at first glance. The music arrangements are well-executed and the vocals are strong, but the songs fall flat. There’s nothing new here. Even on the heavier parts of “If You Could See Into My Soul” and “Vanity and Greed,” it’s the same muted, upbeat chugs we’ve all heard before. With parts reminiscent of Saves The Day and their touring partners Rise Against, Silverstein rehashes the formula over and over again.

Silverstein is undoubtedly a tight band, with a good touring future. I can see the appeal the band has on people — they have the look and the sound, and the boys can play. But after three albums and seven years, I hear nothing fresh. The songs constructed for this album have volume but no drive. Even with plenty of interesting guitar parts interlaced between the harmonies, the songs felt scarcely genuine. Screaming about nothing doesn’t make it something; there are plenty of subjects to sing and scream about. Enough of the whiny relationship blubber. Waiting for one song to catch my attention, it just became background music to the other things I was pursuing at the time. I’m sure I’ll hear one of these songs in a videogame some day.

So, where would I file this record? I’d hate to call this radio emo/pop, but with songs like “Worlds Apart” and “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow,” what else could it be? Silverstein sometimes feels like Simple Plan or Blink-182, only with a sharper design.

If you were a fan of Silverstein before Arrivals and Departures, I doubt you’ll be disappointed. For me, post-hardcore music started with bands like Fugazi, Quicksand, and Jawbreaker, all unique bands that gave inspiration and that I could embrace. I don’t feel that these days.

[Silverstein is playing 3/7/08 at The Meridian, with The Devil Wears Prada, & A Day To Remember.]
(Victory Records -- 346 N. Justine St., Suite 504, Chicago, IL. 60607; http://www.victoryrecords.com/; Silverstein -- http://www.silversteinmusic.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, March 4th, 2008. Filed under Reviews.

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