There are lots of memories to cherish from being an alternative “emo” kid in the ’00s, from selecting the perfect top eight and profile song for MySpace to sweeping side fringes, Criminal Damage skinny jeans and obscene amounts of eyeliner. If any of these sound familiar, then it’s likely that Silverstein do too.
The post-hardcore Canadian five-piece were part of an intricate soundtrack of “screamo” bands that supported the teenage years of many during the mid-00s. With the release of their debut album ‘When Broken Is Easily Fixed’ in 2003, Silverstein quickly cemented themselves among the likes of From First To Last, Hawthorne Heights, and Senses Fail as a firm fan favourite.
Many (many, many) years later, Silverstein are now releasing ‘Redux II’, the second of a two-part release. Following on from 2019’s ‘Redux: The First Ten Years’, the album features reimagined recordings of twelve tracks from the band’s back-catalogue. Much like the second disc of a two-part compilation album, ‘Redux II’ doesn’t necessarily feature the band’s biggest and most acclaimed hits, but it does a fine job of bringing some of their more understated songs to life.
For those of us who only dabbled in the world of Silverstein back in the day, opener ‘My Disaster (2.0)’ sounds exactly as one would expect a Silverstein track to sound; high-octane, sentimental (perhaps a little over-sentimental at times) and raw. Their ability to sound skilfully polished and yet completely unfiltered at the same time hasn’t wavered, from the guttural vocals of the extended ‘World On Fire’ to the gut-wrenchingly angsty ‘The Ides Of March’, these tracks really are a trip down memory lane.
There are some genuinely reimagined tracks on ‘Redux II’, including the acoustic version of ‘California’ and refreshed ‘On Major Mountains We Conquer’. However, there’s also an awful lot about Silverstein‘s new recordings that sound, well, pretty much the same. It’s overwhelmingly nostalgic, which feels like a much-needed hug from an old friend right now, but ultimately it doesn’t offer much in the way of Silverstein reclaiming their former stature within the scene of today.
It might not bring Silverstein back into the big leagues, but fans, particularly older ones, will undoubtedly enjoy hearing new life being breathed into one of their favourite coming-of-age bands.