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When Broken Is Easily Fixed

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Album Review

Silverstein's Victory debut is a jarring mixture of emo's earnest determination, elements of hardcore, and the heaviest of heavy metal. While vocalist Shane Told delivers lines like "How can I say I love you back, you never made me happy" in a cracked, soaring singing voice, When Broken Is Easily Fixed actually begins with a ragged scream that's as arresting as his singing is plaintive. Musically, the LP is dominated by the dynamic shifts and driving melodies of emo. But Silverstein's membership was derived from existing hardcore, metal, and punk squads, and these influences are never very far from view. "Last Days of Summer" begins as a June day ends, with shuffling percussion and gently strummed guitars. But just as the fragile strains of a violin drift in, Told's growling, scarred alter ego appears behind his singing self. The song's structure breaks apart, and re-forms as a churning post-hardcore anthem driven by his scarred, screaming id. The track gives way to the scathing hardcore of "Bleeds No More," but even its furious rhythms aren't safe from Silverstein's experimental touch — its bridge features an atmospheric interlude complete with programming and additional violin. Things get even more bipolar with "The Weak and the Wounded," on which Told's two sides duet before the track bursts through the storm clouds into a gliding chorus. But all is not well. "Love in my eyes, lust in my heart," Told sings, only to sneer finally "I made it all up. Lies, deceit empowers me." When Broken Is Easily Fixed is a rousing, cathartic record that effectively blurs the lines between emo, hardcore, and metal. It drags the listener behind the car on an emotional roller coaster that teeters on rotting wood. For your own safety, keep your hands and arms away from the stereo at all times.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Originally formed in 2000 as a side project, Silverstein were launched by vocalist Shane Told, guitarist Josh Bradford, drummer Paul Koehler, guitarist Richard McWalter, and bassist Bill Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. After diving into Ontario's hardcore/emo scene -- which also included bands like Moneen and Grade -- Silverstein found an audience for their particular brand of shimmering emo and hot-blooded post-hardcore. Silverstein's self-released EP, Summer's Stellar Gaze, was quite well received...
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