Review — Silverstein delivers a different, but still great record with 'Short Songs'

Reviews / February 7, 2012

The best description of Silverstein’s new album Short Songs would be, well, short. With no song going over 1 minute and 37 seconds, and the entire record lasting less than 20 minutes, at 19:37, Silverstein definitely tried something new with their latest release.  The idea of such a short record from a band like Silverstein, who consistently make album after album of heavy but catchy songs, was a bit concerning. However, they pulled it off and have made another quality album.  If you’ve listened to Silverstein consistently throughout the years, you can tell that they take influences from punk music. The punk influence is audible in the heavier songs they have produced over the years. However, what has separated them from the rest of the pack has been their uncanny ability to make these heavier songs catchy and melodic, while also easy for all fans to sing along too. They’ve done the same thing with Short Songs.

Short Songs was intended to hold over the fans until Silverstein’s next release through Hopeless Records. They split the album into 2 sets, with each set having 11 different tracks. Set 1 is all songs written and performed by Silverstein. This set starts out with the track, “Sick As Your Secrets,” which has that classic, fast paced and screaming punk feel. However, the songs “Sin & Redemption” and “World On Fire” have the traditional screaming/singing that Silverstein is known for in the music world. These songs can easily be envisioned as full length tracks on Silverstein’s next release. The songs “Brookfield” and “One Last Dance” have no screaming, but still have that fast and catchy sound that the fans have come to love about the band. These four songs are the most complete on the album, which could easily be on the next LP made by the band.

Also on Set 1 is the song “Sleep Around,” which is the slowest song on the album. It starts out acoustically with Shane Told singing and then the rest of the band joins in during the middle portion. It’s a strong song that has a really catchy guitar riff that can easily be a sing along at their concerts. Finally, Set 1 ends with a 7 second song entitled “See Ya Bill,” which again has that old-school punk feel.

Short Songs could only have Set 1 on it and their fans would be satisfied. However, Silverstein took it one step further and recorded 11 covers, which are all on Set 2. These covers are all from various punk bands such as Gorilla Biscuits, The Descendents, NOFX, and Green Day. The majority of the songs on Set 2 are shorter than Set 1 and have that fast paced and screaming punk sound of the bands that were covered. The main thing that these covers show is that Silverstein could easily be in this genre of music and have no problems.

Overall, Silverstein took a slight risk with creating a different album than their fans are used to, but it ended up being a great record. Even though the songs are short, the majority are great tracks that have that classic Silverstein sound that their fans have grown to love.  The band made this album to keep their fans satisfied until their next record, and not only did they achieve this, they have left at least this fan, wanting more.

The album is being released on February 7th through Hopeless Records on multiple mediums, including on 10″ vinyl.  The different packages offered by Hopeless Records can be found here.  The vinyl includes a lyric sheet with the lyrics to all the Set 1 songs that were written by Silverstein. You can purchase the vinyl by itself from Amazon. There is also a clear vinyl available on the band’s North American tour (limited to 200). There will only be five copies available at each stop. You can see the tour dates here.

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Bill Houck

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