Silverstein – A Shipwreck in the Sand
Record Label: Victory
Release Date: March 31, 2009
A Shipwreck in the Sand made its way into my top 5 of 2009 within the first 30 seconds of listening to it. By the time I completed listening to the entire CD, it made its way into the top 15 albums I’ve ever bought. I have been a fan of Silverstein since the early days. To say the least, they’ve influenced my music tastes and been a band I've always counted on to put out a strong CD. That being said, this CD purchase was one of my best of all time.
Chapter One: It Burns Within Us All starts out with the song “A Great Fire” which prepares the listener for the epic Chapter One that is about to unfold. Shane Told shows off an obvious progression in vocal ability and range, telling the story of a house in flames (as if the CD cover didn’t give it away). The seeds of a relationship in despair are sown and will soon grow. “Vices” sees Told get angrier than the Hulk on steroids. It features an awesome ending with the lyrics, “I’m not coming home tonight, I’d rather sleep on the street, I’m not coming home to you, I won’t sleep with the devil.” As a listener I really felt like I was there living out this story. It’s definitely a sign of things to come on the CD, which for me, it seemed far more than the normal post-hardcore release. The following track, “Broken Stars,” has my favorite breakdown and a line that’s hard to forget “these broken stars can’t be put back in the sky.”
In Chapter Two: Liars, Cheaters, and Thieves, the man in the story makes a transition to a more melodic, remorseful, vengeful character. “American Dream” is a song that is soft, for all intents and purposes, and finishes with a strong, heavy ending. Lyrically it is some of the best storytelling that Silverstein has done to date. “Their Lips Sink Ships” is an interlude of sorts, soft and airy, with a reminder of the burning house and instructions to leave it. It is the perfect transition to “I Knew I Couldn’t Trust You.” This track starts off very fast paced and is just a total joy to sing along with. It delves further into the past of the woman in the story, relating back to when she was a child. “Born Dead” is the next track and perhaps the second most angst-filled song on the disc. It features Scott Wade as a guest vocalist, and his punk-esque shouts are a great complement to Told’s screams. It is a party for your ears, this much is certain.
Chapter Three: Fight Fire with Fire starts off very slow with a spoken word introduction about the original ship that would eventually become A Shipwreck in the Sand. Told’s ability to reach highs and lows with his clean vocals shines on this track. The story told in this track is by far one of the cleverest on the disc, and one of the easiest to picture as a listener. “I Am the Arsonist” sees Told get even angrier yet again with lines like “How could you do this, my best friend with my bride” as well as “Gasoline and fire is the perfect combination.” We begin to see foreshadowing that the burning house may not be an accident after all. “You’re All I Have” is quickly becoming my favorite track on the album because it provides such a nice end to this chapter and a wonderful transition into the next one. It has an absolutely amazing lyric, “Don’t leave me to die by myself, I can’t live without you,” in which we finally see the softer side to the man in the story, as he digs deep inside of himself and we see there’s more than just anger about the wife who is crumbling his world around him.
Chapter Four: Death and Taxes continues this epic journey with “We Are Not the World” which tells the bitter side to corporate greed and the evil behind money. “A Hero Loses Everyday” paints the picture of the man being questioned for the arson, only to be let go. Lines such as “I hate you so much, but I still miss you” provide a strong backbone for this song that makes it very relatable to any listener that’s had a relationship end badly. We also see this man hit absolute rock bottom, lying on a motel room floor with nothing left to live for. “The Tide Raises Every Ship” is a perfect transition into the final track “The End.” This final track features female singer Lights, and provides quite the pairing of man and woman. It is the longest track on the disc, going over seven minutes, but it sure doesn’t feel that way. It’s such a beautifully crafted song that every second of it is enjoyed. All of the warmth created by the pairing of these two talented vocalists is felt. It seems an appropriate end to a story of a family that has made it through a burning house, lying, cheating, scandal, and struggles beyond their breaking point.
Overall I could not be more satisfied with this disc. If you haven’t done so yet, do yourself a favor and pick this up. It is amazing to see the progression musically and lyrically that Silverstein has made. They have proven yet again that they are worthy of the praise they get, and if anything, deserve more of it. Every track on this disc will find a way of making it on to some playlist that you currently have, because there’s so much range to the disc itself.
After a mediocre "Arrivals & Departures" Silverstein´s new album absolutely blew me away.
The last part of the album is a bit forgettable imo, but as a whole this record is kickass :)
much love to silverstein ;D
A Shipwreck in the Sand made its way into my top 5 of 2009 within the first 30 seconds of listening to it. By the time I completed listening to the entire CD, it made its way into the top 15 albums I’ve ever bought.