Canadian post-hardcore perennials Silverstein are back to claim more territory on a map that at this stage is mostly theirs. ‘Dead Reflection’, their astonishing ninth album, is a safe bet that still somehow feels a little loose.
It doesn’t sound like the band are saying anything they haven’t already in their considerable back catalogue, nor are they trying to deviate away from their norm in terms of theme, but, it’s still a smart record, musically it packs a punch (punches that land with differing intensities), and if you’re already a fan, then you’ll be hard pressed to be disappointed.
The band seem to have approached this latest effort in two rough halves. The distinction between opener ‘Last Looks’, which presents a thunderous, roaring introduction to the record, and ‘Aquamarine’, which is more cut-and-dry emo, is interesting, but hard to consolidate entirely in the space between your ear buds. There’s some sort of connecting thread though, rather than being separate hemispheres, they operate more like a vaguely overlapping Venn diagram; both are good tracks in their own way, and the genre differences only serve to prove that they can write a good hook at any volume.
Further highlights include ‘Ghost’, which drips with sincerity in the lyrics, “Cold nights in a broken home / Long talks with the dial tone / Everywhere I go / In the shadows / I see your ghost”, each word punctuated by punchy rhythm.
‘Mirror Box’ (“How much could my words weigh? / I left, but wished that I had stayed”) and ‘Cut And Run’ (“I’ve been dying to tell you to cut and run”) are also well poised with the right emotive heart. Less so is mid-album misfire ‘The Afterglow’, which has an impressive toe-tapping quality to it, but nearly causes the relative complexity of the preceding and following tracks to be marred by its radio-friendly presence.
Much like the shimmering, sunset-drenched ocean on the album cover, at times it feels like Silverstein have long since reached their high-watermark and the tide is on its way out. But, despite a few inconsistencies from track to track, the band is operating at cruising speed with no intention to dock any time soon. This record has enough bait on its many and varied hooks to reel you in for a bigger bite.
Written by Chris Yeoh (@Chris_Yeoh)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. |