Silverstein’s previous albums pulled listeners in so many different directions that they seemed tailor-made for ADD-afflicted music critics with 15-second attention spans. For the band’s third full-length effort for the Victory label, Silverstein
wisely hired producer Mark Trombino—known for helming breakthrough works of Blink-182
and Jimmy Eat World
—to smooth out their rough edges and sharpen the overall pop appeal. As a result, Silverstein still rocks as hard as ever, but the occasional off-kilter King Crimson
-esque angular lines of guitarists Neil Boshart and Josh Bradford, and the Phil Anselmo-inspired screaming choruses from singer Shane Told, now serve as contrasting supporting textures instead of jarring diversions. Arrivals & Departures
offers a good half-dozen songs that should be hits (the single “If You Could See into My Soul,” “Sound of the Sun,” “Still Dreaming”), with melodies that linger and get under the skin like a day-at-the-beach sunburn. Boshart and Bradford’s dual-Les Paul attack drives songs like “World’s Apart” and “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” with chugging freight train rhythms and de rigueur
pop-punk power chords, contrasted elsewhere by chorus-processed open strings and percolating new wave-style eighth-note riffs. Unlike many bands making the concerted push towards mainstream success, Silverstein’s efforts here sound natural and instinctual, as if they’ve been doing this kind of thing their entire career. By saying goodbye to the desultory indulgences of their past, Silverstein have finally arrived.
Silverstein guitarists Neil Boshart and Josh Bradford relied exclusively on Gibson guitars when recording Arrivals & Departures, with Boshart favoring a Les Paul Standard
,while Bradford opted for a Firebird
, 1957 Les Paul Goldtop Reissue
, and an SG
. For a free download of "If You Could See into My Soul," click here.