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Key Tracks: “Sin & Redemption”, “Sleep Around”, “Scenes from Parisian Life (Originally by The Promise Ring)
When Silverstein titled their album, Short Songs, this was definitely not an understatement. Every song but one off their newest release is less than a minute and a half long, with one side of the album bringing 11 minutes and 28 seconds of original songs, and another eight minutes of covers of short punk songs. Yes, 22 songs in the time it takes many bands to make three quarters of an LP.
The post-hardcore veterans have come a long way since their early days of playing borderline emo music with the likes of bands like Hawthorne Heights and Aiden, and have certainly progressed musically. Their 2011 release, Rescue, was a pretty low-key release and was where they introduced more of a melodic metalcore/hardcore punk sound to their instrumental parts, with vocalist Shane Told going a bit lighter on the screams.
Short Songs is similar instrumentally, but Told comes in more heavy then he really ever has before with most of his vocals. Instrumentally, guitar and drum parts are more sped up, but lack the bullshit of modern metalcore, like muddy breakdowns, repetitive chords, and on-beat cymbal crashes (coughAskingAlexandriacough).
But what is great about the album is that everything you would normally expect to find in a Silverstein album is there, but just in a shorter form. “Sleep Around” sounds just like one of their normal acoustic-to-electric ballads, but clocks in at 1:20, or “One Last Dance” sounds just like a typical slightly emo love song, clocking around 1:26.
Even though the first 11 tracks are a quick listen, I would have to say that the album structure works for the most part. A few of the songs leave you kind of dangling and hoping for more, but most will fill you up. And every song ties into the next well.
Told’s voice sometimes struggles to mimic the more hardcore punk vocal style on some of the tracks, but his voice still brings a post-hardcore side to punk, which works well. Their cover The Promise Ring’s “Scenes from Parisian Life” is beautifully done, but their cover of Green Day’s “The Ballad of Wilhelm Fink” is sort of annoying.
Silverstein has yet to lose their touch when it comes to releasing new music. Even with a shorter album, it will definitely impress listeners. My only thought is if any of these songs have enough length to be played live. All I know is that I agree with Dead Kennedy’s when they say “I like short songs!”
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