Review Summary: The Silver Lining proves to be the silver lining in the band's discography.
After four long years, Earshot finally released The Silver Lining - apparently four years can get a band thinking. Progress is the ideal that all bands strive for, and it seems that Earshot have marked their progress with The Silver Lining. The Silver Lining is mostly a revamping of their previous style; it is hard rock (less metal than before) that combines the moodiness and Tool-like experimentation of Letting Go, with the straight-forward accessibility of Two. Rocking music has never been a foreign concept for these guys. They were always a hard rock band at heart, so discarding their abrasive alternative metal was a necessary step in the right direction. Of course, they still dab into metal, as heard in ‘More Than I Ever Wanted’, but that type of song is a rarity in the album. This is Earshot’s least heavy album. Certain songs may satisfy the metal-head’s need for aggression, but this is ultimately an album for fans of melodic hard rock.
As expected from the band, they hold their anthems at front and center. ‘Closer’ is like that business man who puts his foot in your front door and then proceeds to sell you his product (except that this time it is welcomed). Guitar hooks galore immediately rope in the listener as the verse builds and erupts into the catchy chorus. The song shows that the band can still produce memorable singles, as ‘Closer’ could easily be the next ‘Wait’. The following two tracks are extremely similar to ‘Closer’, but still remain distinguishable. These songs stand out because the band’s songwriting skills have greatly improved. Unlike their previous album, which was one repetitive song after the next, every song here is sufficiently unique. This sounds like an excuse to ignore the band’s weaknesses (which are few), but it is also the truth.
Earshot would make an excellent gothic rock band. Their music is emotive without effort, and they seem distant, yet somehow, feelings of melancholy bleed through their melodies. Perhaps this is due to the tool-like essence to the band, which makes them seem unconventional and gloomy. For instance, ‘Where The Pain Beings’ claims a very Tool-ish chorus, but it is not the chorus that piques interest. The verse is a complete wall of sound originating from guitars; one could imagine a scene to accompany the music – I imagine a helicopter falling down an endless, massive well. The track before it is equally as powerful, with a chorus that is instantly euphoric and wistful. The final track, ‘Go’, is also noticeably moody with pounding guitar hooks giving way to a somber chorus. The deceitful intro to ‘Go’ is a fun bonus, for it seems to be building up into something predictable, but instead, loud guitars burst in and jolt the listener.
In the past, the band has been criticized for sounding too much like Tool, but while this album may share some similarities to Tool, they are mostly accidental. The band now has a distinctive personality, and that personality is not dictated by outside influences. When recording the album, the band members were the soul deciders on whether or not a certain vocal melody or guitar riff would be implemented. They have always found a company to release their albums, but have also always been of independent nature (for instance, their debut album Letting Go was mostly recorded in random basements). The band has never conformed to anyone, which has proven to be a strong point of Earshot – it is especially commendable in this album. The Silver Lining really is the silver lining in the band’s career/discography. It is the sound of an accomplished band doing what they do best – melodious, moody hard rock with strong choruses.
- More Than I Ever Wanted
- Pushing to Shove
- Where the Pain Begins