Discovering the Waterfront

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When a band combines hardcore, power pop, and math rock, the results can be pretty tedious -- not because the combination isn't a good one, but because it's what just about everyone seems to be doing these days. Silverstein avoids the sing-then-scream-then-7/8-guitar-break doldrums in a couple of ways. Importantly, they keep the screaming to a tasteful minimum, using it as a spice rather than a main ingredient. By so doing, they ensure that the screaming actually carries emotional meaning instead of turning into aural wallpaper. Equally importantly, they deliver their beautiful melodies and tight, rich harmonies with just as much muscle as they do their more abrasive moments, which keeps either aspect of their sound from coming across as just a gimmick. And the odd-metered guitar breaks are both few and brief, which keeps them interesting and enjoyable as well. The result is, basically, power pop for the new millennium -- and a remarkably mature sound for a band that has only been together for a few years. Every track is well worth hearing, but the ones that will keep you hitting the repeat button are the beautiful "Your Sword vs. My Dagger," the double-entendre-laden "My Heroine" and "Call It Karma," with its blissfully wanky twin-guitar solo. Highly recommended.

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