Screamo stars Silverstein provide some interesting rhythms and catchy tunes in 2005’s Discovering The Waterfront, but it can it rise above the emo standard? Find out in the second review of our Summer Extravaganza!
Let me start this review by saying that Silverstein’s sound and style are not meant for the light of heart. A truly emo band takes a bit to get used to, especially in this case. This album is definitely only for the hardcore, or for those with extremely open minds.
This album opens with the extremely energetic Your Sword Versus My Dagger, which sets the overall tone for the entire album. As a result, the rest of the album becomes a bit predictable. Don’t get me wrong, Sword is definitely a catchy tune that can easily get stuck in your head if you give it a chance. Track 2, Smile In Your Sleep, has the same dark, dreary theme with an ironically upbeat rhythm and energetic guitars. While the band has some dark metal-ish moments, they use a lot of major notes, making the guitars have a sometimes happy tone. The Ides Of March is another great example of this trend. However, as you can see, these first tracks are quite similar; some might say that this makes them indistinguishable.
The album then moves into a lower point with Discovering The Waterfront and Defend You. Waterfront is a low point because of its slow tempo that serves as a strong contrast to earlier songs. Defend You is just unoriginal and derivative of stereotypical screamo. Bands of this genre, like Silverstein, often try to be unique, but this track shows how these attempts fail. Tracks like Already Dead and Three Hours Back return the album to its typical theme.
The main attraction to this album for me is that the songs are not all screaming, which becomes quickly tiring in other bands who only scream. I also like their contrast of upbeat rhythms and notes with darker themes and lyrics. The rhythms can sometimes be quite creative, but are usually the traditional emo/punk fare. The band doesn’t do anything that interesting or new musically, although they play their parts well. The guitars mostly play power-chords (especially in the choruses) and the drums are fairly standard, although the fills are very well done.
The booklet included with the album alternates between pages of lyrics and hand-drawn sketches and two-page-spread pictures of fairly dark and depressing scenes. The art style of the sketches is somewhat reminiscent of that of Jack’s Mannequin. The more intricate designs (including that of the cover) have a dark and grimy feel fitting of the album’s style and intent. The version of this album I purchased also came with a two-sided DVD. One side included several music videos and videos of the band rehearsing. The reverse side was basically an ad for the band Bayside, label-mates of Silverstein. This DVD extra is surprisingly full-featured and had a lot of interesting content, including audio commentary for some of the band’s songs.
While this isn’t one of my favorite albums, some of the songs were catchy and easy to listen to. It’s a good start only for people with very open minds looking to get into the genre of screamo. Three out of five.
- Your Sword Versus My Dagger
Smile In Your Sleep
The Ides Of March
Fist Wrapped In Blood
Discovering The Waterfront
Always And Never
Three Hours Back
Call It Karma
Definitely Get: Your Sword Versus My Dagger, Smile In Your Sleep, Fist Wrapped In Blood, Already Dead
Definitely Avoid: Discovering The Waterfront, Defend You, My Heroine