Review Summary: Holds about the same fun factor as a geometry textbook.
For as long as I've been a Silverstein fan, I've considered Discovering the Waterfront the band's creative masterpiece. It exemplifies both stylistic aspects of the band. Present is the strength and power from the band's post-hardcore, or pop-punk, or whatever roots they have. But also present is the flowing, aqueous element that personifies discovery and water. This album didn't really expand or focus on this combination of ideas. If you will, it's almost as if they stuck this formula in a centrifuge to completely separate the harmony, and they came out with several uninspired slabs of industrial blah-rock.
Okay, so maybe uninspired isn't the right word. In fact, if I could give them credit for anything, it would be the work they put into this. You can't blame it for underproduction. Perhaps a more appropriate word would be bored. Whoever wrote the riffs for this album sounds like he wrote something while lying in bed and then recycled it ten times over in a different key. With the exception of the tapped riff in "If You Could See Into My Soul", (which, I admit, is really cool) I've heard every one of these guitar lines done better on a Thrice or Avenged Sevenfold album. The unoriginality doesn't even bother me as much as the fact that Silverstein's pop sensibility and knack to lay hooks right where they need to be has evaporated over the last two years. That isn't to say the album is completely hook-free however. Catchy tunes such as "Sound of the Sun" and "Worlds Apart" keep my attention most of the time.
Now to the spoken part of the cd. Lead vocalist Shane Told is an interesting subject in rock. His singing voice is very good, borderline excellent. His lyrics, however, are a two-headed monster. Sometimes they are profound and thought-provoking, while other times they are flat out stupid. For clarity's sake, I'll do these separate.
As stated before, Told possesses a great voice. He is particularly suited towards softer songs, as his voice is comparable to the clean setting of your guitar amp of choice (obviously, screaming is another story). Range really isn't much of an issue; he hits the high notes with authority and keeps it there. To be honest, he might not have on of the best voices in rock, but easily one of the most pleasing and soothing voices. Screaming seems to have cleaned up from the past, when he sounded like a 13 year old boy getting whacked repeatedly in the chest. Nothing special, but solid.
Now we arrive at the lyrical portion of the album. I don't care if you just broke up after 100 years, the phrase "over space and time" should not appear in a song unless it's the Transformers theme song. In fact, I think "Still Dreaming" has the most real-but-craptastic lyrics in a song I've ever heard. I think I recall writing something like this in a poem in 8th grade about the girl I liked. This isn't the only place where the lyrics are wierd. "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow", "My Disaster", and "True Romance" all share the same problem. On the other hand, some of them are really good. "If You Could See Into My Soul" has a sweet analogy to a card game, and "The Sand Will Turn To Glass" and "Vanity and Greed" have good lyrics as well.
I think the most appropriate way to finish this is by telling a yarn. Every night, I pick a new cd to listen to as I fall asleep. My top choices are Goo Goo Dolls, Howie Day, Radiohead, Oasis, and this album. It's not good, but it's not bad. I think if you condensed the entire 40-whatever minutes into a 2 second audial shrug and accompanying "eh", you would come out with the same basic thing. Listenable, but pretty boring. "Sound of the Sun" and "Worlds Apart" kind of stand out, but the other nine tracks are barely discernable from one another. If you can find it used, go for it. Otherwise you could probably watch C-Span or read a tide chart to achieve the same results.