Canadian veterans Silverstein are celebrating their 20th anniversary with their tenth album A Beautiful Place To Drown, but does it highlight their experience or just their age?
When you’ve been writing music for over 20 years, members of this prolific group must have been struggling for ideas. However, they’ve kept the concept of A Beautiful Place To Drown fresh with some of the most innovative collaborations we’ve ever seen. While most bands will include one song (two if you’re lucky) featuring the vocalist of a predictable band of choice, Silverstein have clearly seen enough of this formula over the years. Opening the album with the most radical one, ‘Bad Habits’ featuring guitarist Aaron Marshall of Intervals, you know from the get go they’re trying to do something different. The pop punk verses clash with vocalist Shane Told’s interjected screams and Marshall’s melodic progressive riffs, resulting in an anthem that’ll thrive in either genre. The same goes for following song ‘Burn It Down’ featuring Caleb Shomo of Beartooth on vocals, whose eerie intro and deep screams add the energy it was otherwise lacking.
The most controversial collab comes in ‘Madness’ as rapper Princess Nokia joins the cohort. Such a combination would make one assume that Silverstein would explore more hip-hop or Scarlxrd-like heavy trap at least, especially as it followed on from two production-heavy tracks ‘Shape Shift’ and ‘All On Me’. Although, reminiscent of Bring Me The Horizon’s rap experiment ‘heavy metal’ featuring Rahzel, this is unexpectedly heavy. Despite being one of the strongest tracks on the record, this was the perfect opportunity for them to step away from their favoured nostalgic subgenres as they worked with a prominent female rapper. Furthermore, she only contributed a mere handful of lines that were hardly ground-breaking, causing the question of why her parts were even penned other than to name-drop in attempt to appear relevant.
Alas, Silverstein are known for sticking to their guns through and through, and don’t waver far from their emo/post-hardcore roots which are firmly planted in the MySpace age. Tracks such as the production-filled ‘All On Me’ and old-school pop punk belter ‘Say Yes!’ are prime examples. The heavily-manipulated and autotuned former lacks lustre and features an unexpected and uncomplimentary saxophone solo, while the exclamation mark in ‘Say Yes!’ is all you need to guess the tone of the song. Due to tweenish lyrics such as “Last time we talked it was the wrong time, but now I've figured out I don't want anyone else, can we stay here for a long time?”, it would come as no surprise if these were leftover from an unheard demo written in the early noughties, and it’s unnerving to think these men are actually in their 30s.
A Beautiful Place To Drown sees Silverstein be creative with their trademark sound (albeit at the hands of other artists) which was bound to be tough after all these years. Although, they turned down the opportunity to explore thriving rap-rock subgenres that could have potentially lead to a whole new era. Staying in their comfort zone have gotten them this far, but how secure is it really?
A Beautiful Place To Drown is out now via UNFD. You can purchase the record here.