When Broken Is Easily Fixed
If From Autumn to Ashes, Thursday and Taking Back Sunday had a child, it would resemble Silverstein. Learning from their “parents,” Silverstein sound like From Autumn to Ashes with less metal, Thursday with more strings and no Geoff Rickley and Taking Back Sunday without the pop-punk. Although When Broken is Easily Fixed, the band’s debut full-length release, breaks no new ground, Silverstein are talented enough that they don’t need to reinvent hardcore to grab your attention. They may not have an original style, but they are damn good at what they do.
Shane Told’s amazing vocals switch back and forth from an emo-style painful whine to one of the best screams you can find these days on Victory Records. His vocals bind together all of Silverstein’s influences — punk, hardcore and emo. “Smashed Into Places,” the opening track, has Told alternating between two personas: a heartbroken emo kid crying his heart out and an angry hardcore kid screaming in your face to show just how pissed he really is. Although polar opposites, the combination is flawless. And the rest of the album unfolds along a similar vein. Told’s changing vocals are reminiscent of a little something called multiple-personality disorder, or even schizophrenia. But never before have mental disorders sounded this good… wait, does that even make sense? Point is, Told is a dynamic and ingenious vocalist.
Silverstein have a fondness for strings played over screamed or spoken word. Among several other songs, “Red Light Pledge” uses this said spoken word and string combination. The result sounds very similar to the breakdown on Thursday’s “Understanding in a Car Crash.” In fact, there are a lot of songs on When Broken is Easily Fixed that sound strikingly similar to the aforementioned bands, as well as Cave-In and Grade. Yet, somehow, Silverstein avoid sounding like a rip-off band. They have learned from their influences, not stolen from them — a feat accomplished by few new bands into today’s hardcore and post-hardcore scenes. Amid all their influences, Silverstein have added their own personal touch of je ne sais quoi.
When Broken is Easily Fixed may not be a unique album, but it is incredibly good and addictive (I’ve already listened to it about 5 times today). Highlights of the album include “Giving Up,” “November,” “Last Days of Summer,” “Wish I Could Forget You” and the title track. Actually, the whole album is superior, one big highlight. When Broken is Easily Fixed is just so damn enjoyable.
Hardcore, emo and punk fans looking for something new, but not necessarily different, will quickly fall in love with Silverstein. You will like Silverstein, you will buy When Broken is Easily Fixed and you will not be disappointed.