Earshot
The Silver Lining


3.1
good

Review

by Jom STAFF
August 22nd, 2008 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Although not as heavy as its predecessors, 'The Silver Lining' proves that Earshot haven't missed a beat since their sophomore release four years ago.

Inscribed at the heart of The Silver Lining's liner notes, Earshot writes: "Fight 'til you drop, never give up, and remember that every dark cloud has a silver lining. There are many that have inspired, enabled, and helped us to endure in trying times... and also helped to shape this work of art of which we are so very proud of. You all have been, and always will continue to be, our silver lining." By no means do I have a Ph.D. in deductive reasoning, but it stands to reason that Earshot have toiled on The Silver Lining over the past couple years after being dropped from Warner Bros., later inking a deal with InDeGoot/Fontana/Universal. The music industry is inherently cut-throat and unrelenting, but it's reassuring to have allies in your corner through the worst of times - we all have them, and it's important never to lose sight of their importance in our lives.

That said, The Silver Lining is a record for the fans without all the over-the-top "We wouldn't be who we are without you!" mantras that are issued all-too-often these days, and the question that remains for the casual listener is whether or not Earshot have achieved anything on this record to retain relevance in active rock today, especially considering Shinedown, Disturbed, and Sevendust have all released memorable records this summer. Nearly every Earshot review on Sputnikmusic prior to this review has mentioned how Earshot's "Wait" (from 2004's Two and arguably Earshot's most-recognized song to date) was featured on Madden, while "Headstrong" and "Get Away" (from their debut Letting Go) achieved similar success, so another issue to investigate is if there are any tracks that have the staying power of a "Get Away," or, more ideally, a "Wait."

The short answer to the two aforementioned questions is yes and yes, albeit not overwhelmingly resounding ones. However, some concessions can be made here: four years after their sophomore release, it sounds like Earshot haven't missed a beat, exhibiting little-to-no rust. The band's trademark crunching guitars and bellicose percussion are omnipresent on the record, and frontman Wil Martin's signature vocals resonate with impeccable clarity. Early in the band's career, Martin was compared to a younger Maynard James Keenan, but the comparison has been rendered obsolete and Earshot's instrumentation falls far short of anything Tool or A Perfect Circle would expect to write. While not entirely a derivative, paint-by-numbers approach, the Earshot formula of explosive intro to palm-muted verses to anthemic chorus (and so on) further rebukes that assertion. In this regard, it's either an argument for consistency or an argument for repetition - take your pick - but what should convince listeners to side with the consistency theory is Earshot's ability to consistently generate a slew of hook-laden tracks for nearly a decade.

The most notable sound change from the band's two preceding albums to The Silver Lining is the overall more down-tempo speeds the band plays on this record. While far from elegiac and not even close to 140bpm, the album's moderate feel emphasizes and highlights the band's sense of melody while sacrificing previous conceptions that Earshot are a [nu-]metal act. This shift in sound is depicted right from the get-go with album opener "Closer," which simultaneously passes the Jom's Rule About Opening Tracks (i.e., "An album's opening track must set the tone for the album; a weak opener will always lead to a weak album overall, while a solid opener more often than not leads to a solid record") with flying colors. A swift drum fill leads right to one of the band's heralded boisterous guitar intros, which quickly drops to the expected palm-muted verses, as Martin sings, "Hopelessly, silently, I want you to set me free . . . selfishly, carelessly, you thought you could rescue me . . . I can't explain why I feel so strange." Martin continues similar lyricism throughout the track, but "Closer" does not hit its true apex until the bridge and Martin's highest vocal offering in the outro.

If not "Closer," then "MisSunderstood" is The Silver Lining's "Wait" or "Get Away." The album's lead single has all the elements of a successful radio cut: a catchy vocal hook (the juxtaposition between the spoken and sung vocals in the chorus is a stroke of brilliance to an already-beautiful track), a main guitar riff and lead line that has lasting appeal, and infectious drumming that sets the song's pulse. "Wipe away your tears, put away your pain tonight, run away until you finally see the light," beckons Martin, before continuing: "Sing a song with me, hush the quiet scream inside / See the world through different eyes, hear no more the sound of lies . . . Hear the cold wind blow outside, try to feel the warmth inside / Etch the faces and the words into your mind / As she gently weeps, surface the secrets that she keeps / Like a thief into the night, a love so wrong but right." Reportedly about a girl who moves out to Hollywood but finds herself getting caught up in bad relationships and even worse luck, Martin unfurls a somber, yet impressive story.

Two other memorable cuts include "More Than I Ever Wanted" and album closer "Go." The former is arguably the album's fastest cut with bassist Johnny Sprague and the dual guitar attack ripping out a blistering introduction, which is immediately followed by intense double bass and slick tremolo picking. Martin picks an excellent track to conclude on, delivering one of his best vocal and lyrical performances on The Silver Lining. Sprague, Arnold, Martin, and the session drummer collectively deliver an excellent performance, with Sprague's captivating basslines and the thick, pounding percussion elevating Martin's vocals and Travis Arnold's guitars high into the mix.

The band does bounce back to nu-metal vibes with the dreadful "Wasted" and its difficult-to-sit-through verses, the haphazardly-plodding "Beside Myself" and "I Hate You," which never seem to establish a concrete direction once throughout their runtimes, and the not-as-irritating "Don't Hate Me," complete with the stereotypical angst-ridden lyrics such as "I've got a fire inside from all your bullshit and lies and all your efforts to break me" and "Don't hate me when you're feeling alone, don't hate me 'cause I've got something you don't, don't hate me when you freak out." The guitars are again very thick and, aside from the cringe-worthy lyrics, the song emanates a distinct sing-along quality to complement the soaring guitars, squealing pinch harmonics, pounding percussion, and vibraslap additions. The track's effect-laden solo, led by the persistently-stellar Arnold, is unabashedly loud and a tremendous addition to the track.

While certainly not flawless, The Silver Lining is Earshot's manifestation of nearly four years of hard work and dedication to their loyal fanbase. Label and band line-up changes aside, The Silver Lining is overall a great listen: the record offers a glimpse of rock done very well (as heard in "Closer," "MisSunderstood," "More Than I Ever Wanted," and "Go") as well as an earful of how nu-metal's elementary lyricism and instrumentation will probably never die (look no further than "Wasted," "I Hate You," and "Beside Myself"). The array of session drummers Martin, Arnold, and Sprague included into the fold is not a distraction, as the drumming is consistently resolute, meshes well with the guitars and vocals, and provides ample pulse to a number of The Silver Lining's tracks along with Sprague. Martin's vocals sound as if they've transcended time - sounding just as he did years before - and his impassioned upper-register vocals are a true highlight. The record is well-mixed and its production excellent; overall, Earshot's junior effort doesn't break any new foundation (and there are some easily-skippable tracks here), but choice cuts like "Closer" and "MisSunderstood" and the genre-bending "More Than I Ever Wanted" cement the band's deserved standing among the distinguished in the active rock community.

Perseverance wins.

Jom recommends:

MisSunderstood
Closer
More Than I Ever Wanted
Go
Don't Hate Me



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
3.1
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pizzamachine (3.5)
The Silver Lining proves to be the silver lining in the band's discography....


Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
August 22nd 2008


44629 Comments


I heard the single for this on my station one day but promptly forgot about it and forgot that Earshot had a new album. Two is an old favorite of mine, i'll be getting this shortly. Review is great.This Message Edited On 08.22.08

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

PayneTiger777
August 22nd 2008


4404 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hmm interesting. I did a review for their first album, which was a terrible debut for the band. Their second album had some enjoyable songs on it. Would you say that this one is better than Two?

SHOOTME
August 22nd 2008


2393 Comments


as usual, good review.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2008


20857 Comments


Love your reviews Jom (probably because your reviewing structure is similar to mine) and this one is no exception.
I will be honest and state that I haven't heard much from this band, but your explanations are clear and descriptive to make me want to give them (and this album) more of a listen. Even your other recommended albums are useful as I don't mind the Shinedown/Breaking Benjamin types of bands too much at all.

Burn2Burn
August 23rd 2008


2378 Comments


twatwaffle

two of my favorite things combined in one word. twatwaffle!

BallsToTheWall
August 23rd 2008


44629 Comments


The band isn't terrible you schmuck, your just being a negative nancy.

SHOOTME
August 23rd 2008


2393 Comments


chickenfish is always like that...

SHOOTME
August 23rd 2008


2393 Comments


chickenfish i would advise you to stop posting in anything affiliated with me or else i'm just going to ban you for being a twatwaffle


i loled at that.

also,

Earshot, are you fools kidding?


Angels And Airwaves, are you fucking kidding?


Jom
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2008


2688 Comments


yeah seriously man i don't slag stuff you review and as far as i know i leave you alone in your personal circlejerking, yet every single time i post anything, be it a review or news article, you have to be a fusty walrus
i just hope to one day meet you when you are a famous paleontologist so i can give you a bloody tampon and ask you what period it came from and see what your reaction will be

SHOOTME
August 23rd 2008


2393 Comments


i just hope to one day meet you when you are a famous paleontologist so i can give you a bloody tampon and ask you what period it came from and see what your reaction will be


:lol: awesome.

VicariousIntent
August 23rd 2008


1594 Comments


Earshot is actually a pretty decent band. Two was a pretty solid release. Someone and Wait were some great songs.
I'm actually pretty interested to hear this, and it sounds good.
Very nice review man, I really liked it.

badtaste
August 23rd 2008


824 Comments


Dayumn, nice review.

Mikesn
Emeritus
August 23rd 2008


3709 Comments


Angels And Airwaves, are you ****ing kidding?
haha

I wasn't really that impressed with the single, but it was alright I guess.

Digging: Grimes - Visions

Wizard
August 23rd 2008


19519 Comments


I love reading your reviews Jom. Very entertaining stuff. I used to listen to Letting Go quite a bit back in the day so I might give this a go.

Chickenfish,
What credibility do you have on this site that gives you the right to knock on Jom's taste in music? Exactly! This Message Edited On 08.23.08

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

PayneTiger777
August 23rd 2008


4404 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think I might buy this seeing how I am a fan of rock and some nu metal. I hope it is better than Two.

SHOOTME
August 24th 2008


2393 Comments


whine whine moan moan...

stfu and gtfo chickenfish.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


17920 Comments


chickenfish i think that you should let it go but that is just my professional opinion

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 24th 2008


3742 Comments


no deep underlining political message 0/5

botb
August 24th 2008


9719 Comments


Good review as usual Jom. And yes, this is another "radio band," but I don't see why you're taking it so personally chickenfish. It's a review and he's stating his opinion, not slandering your family.

Wizard
August 24th 2008


19519 Comments


It's no big deal, really - power to the Jomster.

Hail the Jomster on Sputnikmusic (not trying to be a kiss-ass or anything hahahaha).




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