Silverstein
This Is How the Wind Shifts


3.0
good

Review

by SILYW USER (1 Reviews)
June 21st, 2013 | 34 replies


Release Date: 02/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For the most part it's business as usual, with brief moments of flair and intensity.

Silverstein are one of remaining "Post Hardcore" outfits that surged the scene in the early to mid 00's, they found reasonable airplay and success from their 2005 breakthrough and sophomore album Discovering The Waterfront with their accessible mix of infectious chorus', sing-scream vocal structure, playful guitars and slick production. Fast forward 8 years and five releases later and in that time on the surface they haven't really changed or showed much sign of ever doing so. "If it isn't broken, don't fix it" is a term that can be easily applied, however that wouldn't completely be the case with the Canadian quintet.

Between 2005 and now, the band have kept the foundation or core that is the 'Silverstein' sound. With each release they have focused on keeping this while pushing their craft in different directions. Whether it's the guitar frontal and straight forward rock approach of 2007's Arrivals and Departures or the grand theatrics and conceptual themes of 2009's A Shipwreck in The Sand, Silverstein have always tried to stay creatively open minded while staying true to themselves. However there becomes a point where you can't keep that balance without becoming stale. Enter their newly released (and second conceptual) album This is How The Wind Shifts

This is How The Shifts is clear evidence of the quintets 'middle of the road' approach finally taking it's toll on them. On one hand it shows a band who are confident in themselves and still working hard to perfect their sound, but on the other it shows a band that are stepping on ground that they have repeatedly ventured on time and time before and to less effect. The main problem is Shane's vocals, it feels like he is either recycling melodies and phrasing from previous releases or attempting to try new things but ultimately falls short.

For example "Massachusetts", the lead single from the album kicks straight in and the first thing that comes to mind is "Vices" from A Shipwreck in the Sand". The structure and phrasing in the verses is almost identical in both a musical and vocal sense, and once the comparison is made it is difficult to ignore. The chorus section would have be a perfect opportunity to give the track it's own presence, and as the band have always been more than capable of writing infectious hooks in the past this shouldn't be a problem, however this is not the case. In comes the trademark shimmering clean vocals of Shane Told but almost instantly it sounds like the hook to "Burning Hearts" and from that point, this lead single loses any momentum and becomes nothing more than filler rehashing previous "success'".

Unfortunately the uneasy feeling doesn't stop here. "Hide Your Secrets" is what would happen if you crossed "Giving Up" from their debut album When Broken is Easily Fixed with the grandiose finale "The End" from A Shipwreck... "With Second Chances" sounds like "Worlds Apart" with hints of the arrangements on Rescue. "In Silent Seas We Drown" serves the purpose of continuing the Hardcore Punk sensibilities of Short Songs and offer little else besides a burst of aggression. "A Better Place" is reminiscent of the pop orientated material on Arrivals and Departures ("Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" "Love with Caution" come to mind) and wouldn't have been out of place on that album. Despite this, it's actually a throwback that will please those that enjoyed that album. None of these songs are necessarily poor or unlistenable (in fact they are all fairly good songs), but Silverstein has done them before quite literally.

Although, not all of the album is like this. Some of the songs present are Silverstein's strongest to date. "Arrivals" is a interlude performed/written solely by Paul Marc (Their new guitarist, replacing long time member Neil Boshart), the vulnerable vocals with the plucked resonating chords of the guitar is a refreshing change of pace and something completely unexpected, and is a subtle way to introduce the new member of the band and letting him make his mark on the band. His vocal abilities and song writing attributes should certainly be utilised and more of a focal more point future releases. It's counterpart "Departures" led by Told is just as attentive and stirring. The passionate performance plays off of the bands strengths encapsulating them in a 2 and half minute piece that is nothing short of exceptional. It could be easily be the bands finest closing track.

Other noteworthy tracks are the interludes "This is How" and "The Wind Shifts" although on the surface they appear are pretty tame ambient affairs that provide pacing, they define the themes of the album and connect them all together. If you actually overlap them both together they create an interesting call and response vocal arrangement with some fun harmonies (This can be found on Youtube). It's fun, creative, and shows that when they are willing to experiment and stray from them their tried and tested formula they can create a unique listening experience that's ambitious and separates them from their peers.

This album was never going to reinvent the wheel or be a watermark of modern rock, but there was anticipation that it would be a defining album for the band. Especially with blogs regarding its concept and themes being released beforehand that characterised self reflection, philosophical and life changing moments it was difficult not to expect something more ambitious with themes as bold as that. Instead for the most part it's business as usual, with brief moments of flair and intensity. Enjoyable but presents little new territory. It's a good place to start if you've only just been introduced to the band. Most fans will be pleased with this release and will see it as another strong Silverstein release but this will not particularly win over those whom disapproved of the band previous material, or those yearning for more from them.


user ratings (432)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Hogan CONTRIBUTOR (4)
This Is How a dying genre should be revived....

NorwichScene (4.5)
Silverstein have silenced all their critics with their best album to date...

Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (2.5)
Silverstein has indeed done it again....

Atari CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Silverstein has done it again....


Comments:Add a Comment 
NeoSpaz
June 21st 2013


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

still fucking great.

sixdegrees
June 21st 2013


17690 Comments


PLEASE OH BABY PLEASE

I CAN EXPLAIN

Digging: Sputnik - Christmas At Our House

sixdegrees
June 21st 2013


17690 Comments


so wrong its right

YakNips
June 21st 2013


13181 Comments


Don't be like that sixxy

Digging: Jordaan Mason - The Decline of Stupid Fucking Western Civilization

bach
June 21st 2013


13137 Comments


Whoa six doesn't like something.



Digging: Tinashe - Aquarius

Scoot
June 21st 2013


17909 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

they were pretty good live

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

YakNips
June 21st 2013


13181 Comments


le·thar·gic
/ləˈTHärjik/

Adjective
Affected by lethargy; sluggish and apathetic: "I felt tired and a little lethargic".


sixdegrees
June 21st 2013


17690 Comments


I know something thats lethargic

YakNips
June 21st 2013


13181 Comments


The band I Hate Myself?

YakNips
June 21st 2013


13181 Comments


Nah, I just thought that was a strange word to describe a rating with

YakNips
June 21st 2013


13181 Comments


Yeah, I didn't see anything wrong with this album. Straight-forward, catchy post-hardcore.

bach
June 21st 2013


13137 Comments


Well, it's music so one can assume that six isn't going to be huge on it.

sixdegrees
June 21st 2013


17690 Comments


yeah it's too musical

bach
June 21st 2013


13137 Comments


I mean 3 people voted it very poor two of which are prob KILL and Sonic and we know they didn't listen to it.

Edit: Nevermind that. One was Yankee and another dude.

Cormano
June 21st 2013


993 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"best album since DTW"
pretty much, but shipwreck and rescue are still solid

pepster50
June 21st 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I get where your coming for with this review. Still a good album though.

NeoSpaz
June 21st 2013


4519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeh

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
June 21st 2013


1724 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this needed an average review, good job on first review though! It's ironic since my first review was on this album as well!

SirDazza28
June 30th 2013


410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

We need more bands like this, not generic Risecore.

jcismulti
September 28th 2013


26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree this isn't new territory for silverstein but it's probably the best thing they'll ever put out



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