Review Summary: While not quite as spectacular then some of the albums that have succeeded it, Silverstein created an awesome debut album with this release, and it still sounds as good as it did when it was first released
Silverstein are a band that have grown on me quite recently. While I did like their music beforehand, the songs I had heard didn't really intrigue me enough to make me want to give them more of a proper listen. However, one day I randomly decided to listen to them, and I quite liked what I heard, more then I had previously. While their music is nothing too original, it is pretty good, and a lot better then most of their peers (Aiden, I'm looking at you). This is their debut album, an album which, while not quite as good as some of the albums that have followed this one, is still a great effort from the band.
The music itself is great. Both guitarists preform some pretty awesome riffage throughout, while not quite as complex as bands such as Thrice, Funeral for a Friend, or fellow Canadians Alexisonfire, it does get pretty close at times, particularly on the third track 'Given Up', which features a really cool lead guitar riff. While they don't bring anything new to the table, the songs themselves are really good for the genre, and are much better then most of the stuff in the genre. Particular songs which stand out for me are opener 'Smashed Into Pieces', a brutal track which also features oozes of melody, the aformentioned 'Given Up', a song that's a little more melodic but still has heavy moments which hit hard, and 'Bleeds No More', a fast, upbeat song which has a really powerful bite.
As for the vocals, Shane Told is a great vocalist, going from harsh screams to softer vocals with the drop of a hat. One of the good things is, unlike quite a few bands in the genre, they don't overuse the screaming, only using it when necessary, which helps distinguish them slightly from the many clones that use constant screaming over Iron Maiden esque riffs in a 4/4 time signature.
As for the lyrics, Shane is one of my favourite lyricists. Some of you may question this, considering that the lyrics could be considered 'cliché' for the genre. While the lyrics are pretty cliché, most of them being about failed relationships, Shane writes lyrics that are much better then a lot of the horrible lyrics being written by bands not just in the Post Hardcore genre, but Pop Punk as well. 'Giving Up' is one of the highlights lyrically, particularly the line 'How Can I Say I Love You Back, You Never Made Me Happy'.
Overall, this is a great debut album, and one that has stood the test of time pretty well. While there are better bands in the genre, and they do nothing new musically, Silverstein are a great band, and one of the better modern Post Hardcore bands. If you're a fan of Post Hardcore, I'd recommend that you check this album out if you haven't already.