Silverstein has evolved sonically over the last two decades. To look at their breakout success, Discovering the Waterfront, and compare it against their latest offering, Misery Made Me, would show not just different bands, but also different worlds. The former was elevating an emerging subculture that was closely tied to MySpace and the internet as a whole, pre-Facebook. The latter is a refined, deftly executed album that hits hard, both emotionally and audibly.
It’s a testament to a group that helped bring about an entire subgenre’s existence that they’ve since moved on and while they still incorporate elements of Shane Told’s “screamo” vocals, they are much more in the realm of alternative rock than in the stereotypical remnants of the past. Just the same, Told’s screaming has evolved, and in this case, it’s a beautiful thing. At times they’re eerily similar to Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die), which in my opinion is as fine a compliment to a vocalist as I can pay. But more than that, his lyrics have evolved as well: gone are the emotive confessions to lost lovers and enemies of old. In its place is a bewildered (and enraged) observer of a world gone mad with partisanship, voyeurism, grim decadence, and morally bankrupt ineptitude.
The guitar and rhythm work on the album should be complimented in full. In aiding and abetting Told’s vocals, the abrasiveness of the guitar tone during numbers like “Bankrupt” is visceral and snarling. As well, the album stays mostly focused on pumping out ferocious songs, embracing the heavier side of Silverstein as we’ve known them. That’s not to say there isn’t the trademark emotive swaying on the album: closer “Misery” featuring nothing, nowhere. is dripping in emotive melodrama. But this is the exception to the rule, as singles like “Die Alone” featuring Andrew Neufeld (Comeback Kid) demonstrate.
Overall, this album will be a triumph for longtime fans. And for anyone else who has a love for clean singing with their screaming and may not have followed their trajectory, it will likely serve as a welcome surprise.
Misery Made Me Track Listing:
1. Our Song
2. Die Alone (ft. Andrew Neufeld)
4. Cold Blood (ft. Trevor Daniel)
5. It’s Over
6. The Altar _ Mary
7. Slow Motion (ft. Mike Hranica)
8. Don’t Wait Up
10. Live Like This
11. Misery (ft. nothing, nowhere.)
Run Time: 37:11
Release Date: May 6, 2022
Record Label: UNFD Records