Silverstein - Arrivals & Departures (Cover Artwork)


Arrivals & Departures (2007)


God, I really wish I could hate this record. This isn't something I should like at all. Silverstein are responsible for one of the worst songs ever, "Bleeds No More." Silverstein are one of Victory's last remaining post-brocore "screamo" flagship bands, with Atreyu, Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, and Hawthorne Heights all jumping ship. They have that terrible hair. They have those pop-punk vocals. They have that terrible scream. They jock all kinds of punk and emo classics, like Hot Water Music, Operation Ivy and Braid, yet have absolutely no sign of influence. They have those fans...

And yet, I find myself sitting here, enjoying their latest release, Arrivals & Departures. For what it is, Arrivals & Departures could be much worse. For instance, this is better than Chiodos, Drop Dead, Gorgeous, and pretty much any other swoosh rock available to the masses right now. That doesn't mean it's a classic or anything, but it is a solid release from a band that have learned to stick to their guns and do what they do best. They aren't throwing any new gimmicks into the mix, there isn't any new production gloss on the record compared to previous efforts, and there isn't any watering down for a shot at Top 40. It's just a modest neo-screamo/pop-punk album from dudes that know the trade.

Lyrically, Silverstein take a step up. They're not anything to be proud of, but these songs are no "Bleeds No More" or "My Heroine." Musically, Silverstein deliver their pop-screamo, sometimes with metallic effort, sometimes with indie influence. Mostly though, you can be happy that Silverstein vary their songs a lot more on Arrivals & Departures than ever before.

My biggest problem with this release is something so many albums suffer nowadays. The second half falls flat off. Arrivals & Departures starts off so strong with huge sing-alongs (or scream-alongs/whine-alongs?) in "Sound of the Sun," "Worlds Apart," "My Disaster" and relatively unique instrumentation (at least for Silverstein) in "Bodies and Words," "If You Could See Into My Soul," and "Still Dreaming." However, the second half contains lots of filler, and the obligatory trite ballad, "True Romance." The only worthwhile tracks on the second half are the Saves the Day-esque "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" and the ever-catchy "Vanity and Greed."

Silverstein really stepped up to take their place as the kings of screamo-stereotype here. If you find yourself enjoying some pop-screamo now and again, even if you feel guilty doing so, a listen to Silverstein's Arrivals & Departures may be worth your effort. Plus, the album cover is just plain awesome, which is really surprising, considering the label in question's history for horribly clichéd, ugly artwork.